Demand surges for in-home entertainment

As people all over the world self-isolate by staying at home and adhering to lock-down and quarantine measures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, many are already flocking to digital entertainment channels to chase away any form of boredom. The increase in demand for content has created opportunities for content providers, and many are already capitalising on the opportunities. Arts & Culture’s MOMPATI TLHANKANE looks at what stay-at-home entertainment looks like for people who will be stuck indoors for extended periods of time.

The prevailing circumstances have called on many across the world to adjust to new ways of living and working. Consequently, the set up has led to a sharp growth in the amount of content being consumed during this period.

As media and entertainment companies realise there is a silver lining to the hard times ahead, in the coming weeks and months stay-at-home viewers will expect more as they flood platforms. In the midst of the global tragedy, new entertainment trends unfold as people demand for more content.

MultiChoice expands entertainment offering

In order to provide its customers with the best available programming to keep families informed and entertained, Africa’s most-loved storyteller MultiChoice Group (MCG) announced that it will provide broadened access to credible information at this time, by making news channels more widely available across the continent.

“We have been in constant communication with health authorities such as the World Health Organisation, and we will be rolling out Africa-wide public service announcements on COVID-19.

 It is important that all of us take heed of the announcements and advice from trusted experts so that we can look after our own health and that of our loved ones,” MultiChoice Botswana Managing Director, Katlego Arnone said in a statement.

The video entertainment company is not only expanding its content offering for news, but there will also be more children shows, movies and curated sports content.

“In light of the disruptions to the school year in some markets, we are also working to provide access to the best available educational content, to help keep young minds stimulated and engaged,” Arnone continued.

Arnone concluded that there would be regular updates from various section of the business providing further details around their commitment to ensure they continue to provide the best video entertainment even during these challenging times.


Netflix throttles its speeds

Netflix is the best-established streaming player but now its traffic has hit all-time highs. According to a coronavirus-themed press release from AT&T in the U.S, viewing traffic on its network for the streaming service peaked last Friday and Saturday, as millions of locked-down Americans chose binge watching as their preferred means of coping with self-isolation. In the same

release, AT&T also announced that its network broke its own record for data traffic on Friday, as more and more people stream media as a way of keeping themselves entertained during lockdown. As a result, Netflix over the next 30 days, would reduce overall bandwidth consumption by 25% in Europe, in order to meet rising demand. As expanding portions of the world lock themselves down in the face of COVID-19, more and more people are turning to Netflix, as well as to other streaming platforms like Amazon Video and YouTube.

Even though in Botswana majority of people have not subscribed to Netflix, the latter will come out as one beneficiary of the ‘Coronavirus Age’, as well as other big tech companies.

Its not just Netflix but YouTube, Amazon, Apple, Disney, and more have all begun or committed to limit video quality in Europe to reduce strain on broadband networks.


Sony slows down PlayStation game downloads

Except for children maybe, most adults are always busy and they have no time to pick up a controller and binge play that FIFA 20 game they have been dying to play for months. Due to high demand, Sony will slow down PlayStation game downloads in Europe to help preserve overall Internet speeds.

The change won’t materially affect multiplayer. But downloads of games may be “somewhat slower or delayed” during this period. Sony is one of the first to announce limits to game console bandwidth during the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The measures are meant to help maintain strong Internet speeds for everyone while the pandemic leads to a sharp uptake in people working at home.

Sony says it’s been working with European Internet service providers “to manage download traffic. Given the accessibility of these services in Africa, nothing has been said specifically to the latter. PS4 gamers locally have not express their concern so far with PlayStation Network servers. The news comes after a warning about the effect of online gaming on Internet bandwidth

With the government implementing 14 days mandatory quarantine for people coming into the country, platforms such as DStv Now, Showmax, Youtube and Netflix will be people’s very own customisable TV channels.




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