Driven by the thirst for more revenue and the need to move with the tide in terms of consumer preferences, Pay-Tv operators are shifting attention to online streaming.
This move is not surprising considering the amount of revenue streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are etching away from the traditional Pay-Tv companies.
Freemium platforms such as YouTube are also taking the attention of many away from Pay-Tv. But the operators of the latter are not giving up the fight, which is why they have also moved into the online streaming business through their mobile apps.
According to Statista, video streaming revenue globally has been projected to reach US$80.83 billion in 2022. This is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 11.48%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$139.20 billion by 2027.
This is one of the reasons the Chinese Pay-Tv operator with a strong presence in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries, StarTimes, is pushing its ON-Live app. The app allows StarTimes subscribers to keep streaming all the content on their paid subscription even when they are away from their TV and decoder.
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The app at a glance
Available for Android and iOS, the StarTimes ON-Live app has a user-friendly interface and is simple to use. Users can view their decoder status on the app, make payments for subscriptions, and change packages. At 21 MB download size, the app is light despite its many features and functions. The app was updated on November 2, 2022, to deliver a better UI experience.
What you can do on the app
Browse new titles or search for your favourites, and stream videos on your device.
One decoder card can be linked to three accounts. Multiple accounts give different members of your household their own personalized Startimes ON for free.
The picture-in-picture feature allows you to view content while browsing other pages.
You can preview quick videos of series and films and get notifications for new episodes and releases.
You can download titles to your mobile device and watch offline later.
With a presence in about 30 African countries including Nigeria and over 13 million subscribers across operations, Startimes has a ready market for its online streaming app. Hence, on Google Play Store alone, the app has been downloaded over 10 million times.
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On the same app store, the Startimes ON-Live app has been reviewed by over 166,000 users who had experienced the app. The app’s rating on the Google Play Store and Apple Store as of publication time stood at 4.4 and 3.7 respectively. Here’s what the users are saying about the app:
For Adewole Ojerinde, the app is good and serves its purpose of allowing him to view all his favourite programmes on the go. He said:
“A very good App that makes it easy for me to watch on the go. With this App, I can renew my decoder and keep watching all my favourites even when I am not at home. Startimes should however add CNN and live show football channels.”
Obinna Okonkwo’s streaming experience on the app has been great and he would not mind that Startimes does not show English Premier League.
“Great options for streaming sports and tv series on your phone. Might not have EPL but they have decent alternatives like the Bundesliga. The app streams well, no problem so far and I’ve had it for more than six months.”
Another user, Asode Kunle, has no issue with the app, but he is not happy that he would have to pay for the subscription and still spend his data to stream on the app. He said:
“The app is well-developed and it’s functioning properly but it is somehow expensive to be enjoyed to the fullest because you’ll pay for the subscription and you will still use data to the stream.”
Eric Njoroge loves the app but feels the picture quality when being used on Android TV could be better.
“Quite amazing to have an app that allows you to watch what you’ve paid for on the decoder. The best thing is having it accessed through Android TV. Unfortunately, the viewing quality of channels is a bit poor and calls for improvement. It would really make one’s experience even better, especially on the Android TV Version of the app,” he said.
For Joseph Ayum, the Startimes app is one of the best despite its shortcomings. He said:
“It’s one of the best streaming apps. However, it is limited in a few areas: Firstly, It doesn’t show live matches of one of the best leagues in the world (Premiere League). Secondly, even when you subscribe to your decoder, you can’t watch some VIP channels on the app except you pay again. Again, you need an internet connection to watch even when your decoder is duly subscribed.”
Divine Eni used the Startimes app even without having the decoder and he is pleased with the experience on the app. He said:
“My first experience with it was wonderful. I don’t have a Startimes decoder so I had to pay for VIP to watch the channels. But it’s worth your money. It is a very wonderful app and doesn’t take much of your data and it’s fast; it only stopped for a few seconds all through my time watching the 1st half-match. It’s what I’ve been looking for.”