DSTV Rewards

and peculiar Kenyans
This week, Multichoice Kenya launched a promotion called #DSTVrewards in which their active subscribers are eligible to win Kshs. 600,000 (~$7,000) in prizes per week for the next few months. In addition, other subscribers can win 10% discounts for paying on time or win a year’s subscription by spotting a box while watching TV (and sensing an SMS to the company)
 The competition’s launch showed some aspects of peculiar Kenyans including:
  • The love of free stuff (not an exclusively Kenyan habit, but freebies are necessities in many promotions)
  • How people operate under any name, and feel ok – as many services are pay as you go – and with DSTV, loyalty programs, subscriptions, utilities people are okay with paying and getting service, regardless of whose name in registered (landlords/relatives/previous occupants/no names) at the service providers (some of who are also  not strict about account names as long as payments keep coming in). This may change soon with the government recently undertaking a mandatory registration of all phone lines after and also other benefits that accrue to properly registered customers – and with the rewards program, the first drawn name, who was called in the presence of officials from the Betting & License Control Board (BCLB) was not the registered owner – and was thus rejected. 
  • DSTV Rewards
  • A theory of @whiteafrican was again proved as the first confirmed winner of the prize (Dr. Chris Mugambi) showed a lot of skepticism, not excitement, when told that he had won  $7,000 merely for confirming his DSTV account details over the phone. This comes  the many local stories of hoaxes,  other people are told they’ve won prizes – only to be duped of money, radio stations that make prank calls to ‘shame cheating spouses etc. As a result, some people only accept calls from people who they have in their phonebook. 
Other takeaways from the launch:
  • It’s easier for Kenyans to get ‘digital TV’ by buying a Kshs 3,000 (~$35) decoder to use with an analog TV (which 99% of Kenyans already have) than buying a new ‘digital TV’ screen that costs about a Kshs 70,000 (~$823)
  • Via @NjeriWangari @DSTV_Kenya has bought out #FilmStudios as part of a focus to generate local content and producers can take show ideas to them for discussions about developments.
  • Separately, an independent financial report,  showed that Multichoice Kenya has 100,000 subscribers representing  6% of DSTV’s Africa’s audience.