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Our strategic priorities

Our ambition is to strengthen our leadership position in video entertainment across sub-Saharan Africa, expand our product ecosystem both organically and through strategic partnerships and select investments, scale Irdeto to a leading media and cybersecurity business globally, and continue building a sustainable business that delivers value for our stakeholders.

Lead in content and differentiate in local and sport

Pursue a differentiated content strategy by increasing investment in local content, securing the best of local and international sport, and maintaining a compelling international general entertainment offering.

In an evolving video entertainment industry, a differentiated content strategy is key to remaining relevant. Our strength lies in our local content expertise and the appeal of our local and international sport offerings. We continue driving these two elements of our content strategy while maintaining a compelling international general entertainment content portfolio to complete our comprehensive product offering.

Our significant and growing investment in local content sets us apart from international competitors, especially as African viewers love content in their own languages, with local actors and stories that resonate culturally. In addition, local content is often cheaper than international general entertainment content, which helps us reduce our exposure to US dollar input costs. Owning this content also provides greater control over how we manage and leverage it across our products and services. On the sports front, we remain committed to exciting customers with the best local and international sport while carefully managing the cost of acquiring broadcasting rights. Our production capability is unmatched on the African continent and is globally recognised by peers and sports bodies for its professional expertise and quality.

How we performed

  • Increased the number of countries with dedicated local language channels to 10 following the launch of additional channels in Ghana and Ethiopia
  • Produced 4 567 hours of local content, reflecting a 19% growth YoY
  • Local content spend accounted for 42% of total general entertainment content spend (43% in constant currency)
  • Local content library increased by 9% YoY (exceeding 62 000 hours)
  • Renewed selected sport broadcasting rights available for renewal this year, including the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, and rights for the English Premier League (EPL) and UEFA Champions League
  • DStv became the official sponsor for the PSL’s Premiership in South Africa, and we acquired the rights to the Ethiopian Premier League

Looking ahead

  • Further ramp up in local content production
  • We remain on track with our FY22 goal for local content to comprise 45% of total general entertainment spend
  • Ongoing renewal of sport broadcasting rights
  • Successful broadcast of numerous events in FY22, including the Olympics, Euro 2020, and the British and Irish Lions rugby tour

Leverage scale and enhance ecosystem

Leverage our large customer base of ~21m households and reach of ~100m people (given an average of five people per household) to develop a multidimensional entertainment ecosystem for our customers. This includes seeking out organic and acquisitive opportunities to expand our product and service offering as well as enhancing aggregation capabilities and building partnerships that will support our position as a leading sub-Saharan African entertainment platform.

The digital world brought with it fundamental shifts in the video entertainment industry and created new ways for us to engage with our customers who are no longer looking for a single video entertainment service, and who often opt for a portfolio of entertainment options instead. Therefore, an opportunity exists for an aggregator like us to provide a single, seamless customer interface into an entertainment ecosystem. Given our scale, distribution capabilities and core competencies, our proven track record in content curation, our investment in our relationships with content suppliers, our established payment collection capabilities and our ability to manage in-country nuances, we are well positioned to fulfil such an aggregator role in sub-Saharan Africa. Our recent third-party SVOD distribution relationships are a first step in implementing this strategy. We intend to set ourselves up for future success in this regard, and we will continue looking for new opportunities to further expand our existing ecosystem, offering new products to enhance our customers’ experiences and increase our revenues.

How we performed

  • Thorough research and development conducted on set-top boxes to enhance functionality, culminating in the launch of the award-winning DStv Explora Ultra
  • Launched an aggregated streaming platform via the Explora Ultra enabling convenient access to two global SVOD services
  • Rolled out a slate of new products and services including DStv Rewards to encourage retention and the ADD Movies bundle to support revenue growth and customer satisfaction

Looking ahead

  • Continue investing in new product launches, with our Streama device launching in FY22
  • Build new business lines and partnerships where those create a better customer experience

Drive growth and retention

Continue driving increased penetration of a large and growing addressable market, leveraging subscriber growth to support margins and drive ongoing progress towards returning the Rest of Africa business to profitability.

Growing and maintaining a healthy subscriber base remains key to our success and is a critical factor in driving returns. It is also an essential element of our turnaround strategy for the Rest of Africa segment. Our costs are largely fixed with growth and scale imperative for supporting margins. Leveraging a sizeable subscriber base also brings meaningful opportunities through new product innovation.

We believe sub-Saharan Africa offers a large addressable market for our products and is poised for future growth as the prosperity and income levels of African consumers improve. Our aim is to continue capturing this opportunity with a specific focus on markets where we have identified the most significant growth potential. At the same time, we remain focused on driving improvements in customer activity levels, retention and loyalty, which are all critical to sustaining growth.

How we performed

  • Increased 90-day active subscriber base by 1.4m YoY (7%) to 20.9m
  • YoY growth was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, which increased our opening base in March 2020 but also supported activity through FY21, while impacting our subscriber mix

Looking ahead

  • Maintain and grow subscriber base in the context of a challenging consumer environment, uncertainty about the macro-economic outlook and an unknown trajectory for the ongoing pandemic and global vaccination drive

Pursue global digital platform security leadership

Become the global leader in content protection/cybersecurity for media and entertainment services and a leader in the fast growing connected industries sector.

Our Technology business, Irdeto, is one of the leading companies globally in providing digital platform security, content protection applications and cybersecurity solutions for the media and entertainment industry. Our aim is to drive growth, scale and increased market share through new customer wins and enhanced product offerings.

The world of connected industries presents endless possibilities for manufacturers, consumers and those with innovative new business ideas. While our initial focus is on providing security solutions in the connected transport sector, we see opportunities to create, incubate and grow new businesses in other segments such as connected healthcare.

How we performed

  • Secured six tier-one customer wins in media security
  • Hyundai group shipped >200 000 vehicles with Irdeto technology
  • Irdeto solutions now used by five of the six largest global OTT players

Looking ahead

  • Ongoing new customer acquisition in media security
  • Exploring further connected industry opportunities

Accelerate OTT capabilities

Capitalise on increased online penetration of our markets by deepening investment in OTT products and platforms to the extent feasible, and driving growth, adoption and engagement of streaming services in key territories.

A significant aspect of our track record is the pursuit of innovation in our product and service offerings, with the aim of catering for our customers’ ever-evolving needs. Although there are some challenges around broadband access and affordability, customer behaviour is increasingly moving online. Therefore, it is important that our content is available online on any connected device at any time.

We are looking to accelerate the uptake of our OTT products by differentiating and strengthening our content line-up (particularly local content and sport), driving strategic partnerships, improving the user experience of our OTT products and platforms, and launching new business models that leverage content assets and serve changing consumer habits.

How we performed

  • 39% YoY increase in OTT active user base
  • 65% YoY increase in play events
  • 14% YoY increase in average time spent on platforms
  • Successfully rolled out our DStv streaming service via a soft launch in South Africa, offering customers an end-to-end digital experience
  • Launched Showmax Pro sports offering across the continent
  • Rolled out DStv add-to-bill functionality for Showmax products in 10 countries in the Rest of Africa

Looking ahead

  • Launch of DStv streaming service in our Rest of Africa markets, including the Portuguese territories
  • Ongoing product enhancements
  • Targets to grow our paying Showmax subscriber base and increase average time spent on our platforms

Maintain operational excellence and sustain cost reduction

Drive ongoing reductions in our cost base and reinvest some savings in critical systems and data capabilities to support customer experience and future operational efficiencies, with a target of consistently generating positive operating leverage.

Our aim is to deliver positive operating leverage, which will keep the organic growth in our cost base below the organic growth in revenue, thereby driving margin expansion for the group. We continuously strive for operating excellence and optimising cost efficiencies across our businesses. From time to time, this may require some upfront investment as we redesign certain critical systems to support our future business requirements and customer needs. Another key element of this strategy is our ongoing initiatives to embed analytics and AI in the organisation, focusing on improving customer experience, driving revenue, enhancing content discovery and reducing costs.

We also remain focused on returning our Rest of Africa business to profitability by driving subscriber growth and retention and by managing costs effectively.

How we performed

  • Achieved ZAR1.5bn cost savings for the year
  • Reduced losses in the Rest of Africa by ZAR1.5bn (ZAR2.7bn organic)
  • Achieved 7% positive operating leverage (amount by which growth in revenue exceeds growth in costs), which drove margin expansion of 3.6% for the group
  • Entered into a hardware refresh cycle for our IT systems, while progressing with our multiyear investment programme to replace our customer service, billing and data systems

Looking ahead

  • Further cost-saving targets in place (R1bn target for FY22)
  • Deliver on key milestones for our strategic system implementation programme
  • Complete our hardware, customer care and billing system refresh