In August 2017, Econet Media and iFlix Africa announced a partnership that saw iFlix, a subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service that focuses on emerging markets launch its services in Africa. At that time, the strategic collaboration was to benefit from and leverage off Econet Media’s established market expertise in conjunction with the learnings iflix acquired in consolidating its dominance throughout Asia and MENA.
Today, 21 February 2018, the two companies have announced that Econet Media’s Kwesé has acquired significant stake in iFlix Africa – this means that Kwesé now owns iFlix Africa. Since iFlix launched in Africa, uptake of the service has been low and this deal is meant to help iFlix utilize Kwesé’s local expertise to grow its userbase.
In October 2017, Kwesé launched their PayTV service in Kenya and other African countries, a move that saw the company take on Naspers’ Multichoice with their DSTV service. Interestingly, Naspers also owns ShowMax, a SVoD service, therefore, with iFlix now in the hands of Kwesé, the company is going for Naspers’ lunch.
Speaking during the announcement, Econet Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Strive Masiyiwa said, “We are thrilled to deepen our operating partnership with iflix to lead the transformation of media in Africa. Our companies share a mutual passion for innovation, along with a deep understanding of the culture and evolution of digital businesses. Mobility in content consumption has grown exponentially in Africa and by partnering with iflix Africa we are ensuring that we are not only taking part in the evolution, but are leading the movement.”
Kwesé is currently available in 13 countries with its PayTV service and in 25 countries with its Kwesé Free Sports channel that broadcasts free sports.