Friday, 17 May 2013

I’ve got 99 problems and Zuku pricing is one

Pay TV subscriber now reeling under the weight of inflated monthly subscription fees as Wananchi Group slaps Zuku subscribers with a 25% price hike.    

Zuku increases subscription prices by 25%
If you thought Wananchi group, the owners of Zuku pay TV, had crossed the Rubicon in pricing when they slapped their subscribers with 10% price increase on their Zuku Triple-Play Services (TV, Internet, Phone) and introduced  a levy of 499 as a reconnection charges packages last year, then you’re dead wrong.

The pay TV provider has just hiked its monthly subscription prices by about 25% percent, further testing the elasticity limit of its subscribers’ wallets.  This dashes any hopes of Zuku igniting a price war with MultiChoice, the providers of DStv.

Multichoice had a first mover advantage, akin to that of Safaricom, as they ventured into the Kenyan TV market at a time when only KBC and KTN reined the airwaves. Wananchi Group, the owner of Zuku, cited increased quantity of programming for the price hike saying they have added more channels to the packages to compensate for the price jump.

Subscribers on Premium bouquet will pay Sh2, 399 up from Sh1, 999, representing a 20 per cent rise. Those on the mid-tier Zuku Classic will pay Sh1, 199 up from Sh999. Probably in an effort to appease customers who may not afford the rising subscription prices; the company introduced a low-end product dubbed Zuku Poa, which is heavy on news and sports, at Sh799 monthly.

Though the new package, Zuku Poa, perhaps shows Wananchi Group is intent on wooing the price-sensitive lower end of the market, it’s seemingly an effort in futility since the Chinese through StarTimes have bagged the low-end market lock stock and barrel with monthly subscription rates of as low as Ksh500.  

However, the two new entrants Zuku and StarTimes have been unable to dislodge DStv’s dominance which remains a favourite especially among the middle class that MultiChoice serves with exclusive family and sports content.  

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