MTN officially launches VOD service in South Africa

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 27 February 2015

Mobile operator MTN is formally introducing its video-on-demand (VOD) service FrontRow in South Africa on 2 March, after successfully completing a pilot phase that began at the end of December 2014.

The new subscription VOD service will be available at the promotional price of ZAR179 (US$15.56) per month, including 10GB of data, until the end of March 2015. After this time, the price will rise to ZAR399 ($34.72) a month with 10GB data.

MTN's FrontRow provides a library of TV series, films and music videos, and will also offer premium content which ranges in price from ZAR15 ($1.30) for backlog titles to ZAR27 ($2.35) for recent movie releases.

Content can be viewed via a Web browser or the FrontRow app, available now for both iOS and Android mobile devices. The service which supports up to five devices per account is not limited to MTN subscribers, customers of other mobile operators in South Africa can also access FrontRow.

The VOD service carries content from Disney, Warner Bros, Sony, Fox, Stars and Paramount as well as independent international producers.

MTN says FrontRow has had good take-up since its soft launch on 29 December.

MTN is the first mobile operator in the country to launch a VOD service, although it faces competition from the recently launched online video services Vidi from Times Media Group and Altech's Node, plus continental players such as Nigeria's iROKOtv. Pay-TV giant MultiChoice also offers the BoxOffice VOD service to its South African subscribers.

The over-the-top (OTT) streaming giant Netflix has also announced it would launch in South Africa by the end of 2016.