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DStv Premium vs Netflix Premium price hikes in South Africa

DStv Premium’s price has increased more than Netflix Premium’s since the latter first launched in South Africa — both in rand value and on a percentage basis.

MyBroadband compared the prices of these two packages over the past seven years as they are the most popular top-end linear TV and streaming subscriptions in the country.

In recent times, MultiChoice kept DStv Premium’s annual increases below inflation.

Between April 2016 and April 2023, DStv Premium’s price has only increased by R120, working out to roughly 15.8% over seven years. Over the same period, South Africa’s inflation stood at 39.2%.

Had it implemented increases that were aligned with inflation — as it had done in the years before — it would have hiked the subscription to about R1,057 this year.

Nonetheless, DStv Premium has been bleeding customers for several years despite keeping price hikes low.

Over that time, more streaming services availed themselves as affordable alternatives to traditional TV broadcasting, particularly in households with Internet access.

A major contributor to DStv’s struggle to keep a hold of its customers has been Netflix, the world’s top streaming service.

Unlike DStv, Netflix does not implement price hikes on an annual basis.

Instead, the company reviews pricing on an ongoing basis, adjusting it as and when the need arises.

Netflix’s operating model allows customers to switch their subscriptions on and off easily. As a result, the service might experience unforeseen short-term periods of significant subscriber growth or decline.

DStv offers subscribers the ability to take out long-term contracts at a discount and pay off decoders over time.

A fluctuating customer base can quickly put a dent in Netflix’s revenue, requiring an agile response to correct budgets and avoid hurting its profitability.

The streaming giant has frequently increased pricing in its home country — primarily due to a slowdown in growth and requiring more capital to spend on content.

Fortunately for South Africans, Netflix has only increased its local subscription prices once — although a switch to rand-denominated prices also contributed a small hike two years after it first launched locally.

Editorial credit: Daniel Avram /

When Netflix officially launched in South Africa in January 2016, subscribers had to pay their subscriptions in US dollars.

The Premium tier — which offers up to 4K resolution and four concurrent streams — was $11.99 at launch.

The average dollar-to-rand exchange rate during that year was roughly R14.70, meaning Netflix Premium cost about about R176.

The following year, the rand strengthened against the dollar to R13.30, dropping the Premium price to about R160.

Netflix switched to rand-based pricing in August 2018, which took the price of Premium up slightly to R169, but provided subscribers with greater certainty about how much they would pay every month.

When Netflix implemented its sole price hike in South Africa in early 2022, the price of Premium was increased by R30 to R199.

Overall, Netflix’s price increased from R176 in 2016 to R199 this year, a 13% hike over seven years. Therefore, its price has risen by less than DStv Premium.

The graphs below show how DStv Premium and Netflix Premium prices changed between 2016 and 2023.

The first chart plots the prices on two separate axes to match the starting prices and illustrate the relative differences between the price increases. The minimum and maximum values of the axes are separated by roughly the same range (R200).


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