Africa's Largest Media Company Extends Its Operation Worldwide

By Money Times

Dec 03, 2015 09:13 PM EST

Naspers Ltd is expanding its U.S. exposure, and planning to expand its operation in North America, Europe and Australasia.

Bloomberg reported that last September Naspers invested $100 million in Letgo, a U.S. mobile-only classifieds-ads application. The Cape Town-based company is also planning to increase more investment in companies based around San Fransisco.

According to Naspers CEO, Bob van Dijk, "We will probably have more focus on the Bay Area than we've had previously," he said regarding the plan. "If we see the right opportunities we could see ourselves put a good amount of capital there."

Naspers is a 100-year-old media company, founded in 1915 as a newspaper and magazine publishers in South Africa. The company is now operating in 130 countries and focuses on four main businesses in printed media, TV, Internet, and Internet service provider. Its 34% share of Tencent Holdings Ltd, the Chinese tech companies has been Naspers' biggest investment.

As U.S. Federal Reserve is considering to increase interest rate, that will intensify pressure on revenue from emerging market which Naspers main operation are located. However, according to van Dijk, the company has currency-hedging in place to help limit the blow. With a $65 billion market value, its Showmaxvideo streaming service is targeting market share of its competitors like Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu.

According to Business Insider, Naspers is planning to expand its Showmax video streaming service to North America, Europe, and Asia. In cooperation with Samsung that hold a major market share in smart TV, Naspers aims to attract subscribers from outside Africa. Business Insider noted that Naspers believed that worldwide subscribers will pay for a premium for African content overlooked by other streaming services.

In comparison to its competitors, Netflix has over 60 million worldwide subscribers. Amazon Video might have more subscribers, because of the bundling offer with its Amazon Prime service. Meanwhile, Hulu reported to reach its 9 million subscribers this year.

Quartz reported the assumption of Naspers launched Showmax this year was just an attempt to keep out Netflix. However, Naspers is now ready to expand Showmax to attract potentially 15 million subscribers in North America, Europe, and Australasia.

Moreover, Napster plan to attract the sizable African diaspora to its platform, which is estimated to be about 30 million people worldwide. The strategy has a vanguard because of Naspers access to significant content from across the African region through its MultiChoice outlet, the pan-African pay-TV platform. 

After previous success in video streaming platform specializes in Bollywood content, Naspers will advance further to the worldwide market.

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