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Discop Africa: MTN’s Manny Teixeira Spearheads Telecom’s VOD Push

Digital head faces challenges from high data costs

JOHANNESBURG — As Africa tries to turn its mobile boom into a VOD gold rush, all eyes are on Manny Teixeira and South African cell phone giant MTN. The company’s group head of digital media and services is overseeing efforts to tackle high data costs – the biggest hurdle for African VOD uptake – by packaging data bundles with media content in innovative and cost-effective ways. While Netflix’s global rollout in 2016 was a direct threat to top-tier African players like Naspers’ Showmax, the bigger challenge for MTN is finding a business model that appeals to the consumers who can’t afford a premium sticker price. “We have 230 million subscribers,” Teixeira said at Discop earlier this week. “That’s who I’ve got to serve.” While its most recent venture into VOD folded earlier this year, the company’s innovations could provide a model for the continent’s players to follow.

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