eMedia stepped into the ever evolving streaming space tonight (5 August) with the launch of their Video-on-Demand service eVOD.
It debuted at 20h00 on www.evod.co.za
and features local and international content, which includes e.TV and eExtra favourites and a new South African series and movie.
Turns out this is where new series Is'phindiselo will be. We've known it's coming but the details have been hush-hush and now we know why because the inner workings of eVOD have been kept under wraps until now.
According to eMedia's Channel Director Marlon Davids, they'll be spending R100-million per annum on local content for the platform.
TVSA was given a sneak peek of the eVOD app on Wednesday night at a virtual showing along with other members of the media and this is what Marlon had to say:
"In terms of the investment in the local broadcast industry, we've spent over R100-million per year - that's what our investment's going to be and that includes at least four eOriginal series for the platform, as well as at least 10 movies per year."
Marlon went on to say that the first season of Is'phindiselo has 13-episodes and it's been renewed for Season 2 already. A test group of viewers have been watching in the wings and the renewal was based on their responses.
There's a second local series in the works titled Housewives which loads in September and another four movies in the pipeline up until the end of the financial year next March (2022).
This is what excites us most about this new venture.
But how do you watch and what is eVOD?
Here's an info pack of what we know:
It's a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. and it has a mix of free and paid for local and international content.
It's mostly targeted at cell phone viewing but you can watch on tablets and computers too.
You sign up using your cell phone number instead of e-mail adress.
The streaming quality: 720p for the paid option and lower for the free version.
The app's available on Google Play and the iPhone App Store.
The whole shebang's a partnership between eMedia and MTN who've created the tech infrastructure to run the platform - you'll see MTN on the app and website.
It doesn't mean you have to be with MTN to watch though. You can watch on any network and with any service provider so long as you have data or bandwidth.
Da-dum! What everyone wants to know.
MTN subscribers get 4GB of free data when they subscribe. This is valid until January 2022.
How to pay: You can pay with debit or credit card and MTN subscribers can pay with airtime.
Catch Up: still free
e's Catch Up services are now going to be on eVOD instead of the "On Demand" section on e.tv's website, which will link through to eVOD.
eVOD's Catch Up includes archived episodes of e.tv's local soapies, Afrikaans-dubbed Turkish telenovelas and previous eOriginal series e.g. Harvest, Z'bondiwe etc.
There's no charge to watch them other than your data or bandwidth as per usual.
The result: no more Viu. e.tv's shows won't be available on Viu anymore.
BUT e.tv's shows will still be available on DStv Catch Up.
Fast Forward: for the fee
This is a feature of the paid for subscription whereby you can watch episodes of shows ahead of their broadcast on e.tv and Openview. You can watch five episodes ahead.
Shows you can Fast Forward in the launch line-up are Imbewu, Durban Gen, House of Zwide, Elif and eReality's Beef! and Pay Back the Money.
Also, some of the Afrikaans-dubbed Turkish novelas are going to be available on eVOD before they're on TV.
Is'phindiselo and Atlantis
The Baby Cele mystery
is solved. The series she's been filming while she's been off Uzalo is Is'phindiselo. The first episode's available for free on the app and the whole season's available on subscription.
The first local movie is Atlantis, set in the Mother City, and is also available on subscription. The future local movies are going to be on a pay per view basis so you can pay per movie without a subscription.
Of course the only way to truly know what it's like is to browse the app or site and see what you think for yourself.
These are the links:
Let us know your thoughts!