Netflix’s ad-supported tier is rolling out next month.
Yesterday, the platform finally revealed that its newest and cheapest tier—Basic with Ads—will be released in November with a $6.99 price tag.
Users on the tier will have to watch an average of 4–5 minutes of ads per every hour spent. The plan is a few dollars cheaper than Netflix’s $9.99 Basic plan in the US.
Basic with Ads won’t be available globally though. Netflix is only rolling out the plan in 12 countries: the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and the UK.
A month after the Ugandan parliament passed the controversial Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has signed it into law.
Why’s the bill Act controversial?
On the surface, it’s not.
According to the bill, its objectives are “…to enhance the provisions on unauthorised access to information or data; to prohibit the sharing of any information relating to a child without authorisation from a parent or guardian; to prohibit the sending or sharing of information that promotes hate speech; to provide for the prohibition of sending or sharing false, malicious and unsolicited information…”
It’s an amendment to the 2011 Computer Misuse Act, and the proposed amendments only concern section 12.
The amendments will criminalise hacking another person’s electronic device and publishing information obtained from the hack. It also prohibits Ugandans from writing, sending or sharing information likely to ridicule, degrade or demean another person, tribe, religion, or gender.
The problem is, countries like Uganda can and have used them to suppress free speech and digital rights.
Stella Nyanzi, a social critic, has been jailed at least twice for “insulting” Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, on social media. Earlier this year, acclaimed novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, was tortured after he made a series of tweets criticising Museveni and calling his son “plump” and “pigheaded”.
Many critics believe that the new Act will empower the government to infringe on civil and online rights.
Other critics like the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) also state that the Act is duplicitous, given that Uganda already has at least two different Acts protecting its citizens against online harassment and unlawful digital interception.
Big picture: The bill comes at a crucial time when many trigger-happy African countries are facing tough social media restrictions. In Nigeria, there’s the NITDA Code of Practice Bill, and Kenya is presently battling its ICT Practitioners’ Bill.
ATTEND FLUTTERWAVE DEV JAM
Join members of the tech ecosystem at Flutterwave’s first developer conference —Flutterwave Dev Jam (FDJ22).
It’ll be a day of exciting presentations and panel discussions focusing on building and scaling fintechs and best practices in engineering & payments.
Register here to attend physically, and for an online experience, register here.
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FOOTBALL IN 4K IS COMING TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Who will be caught in 4K this quarter? Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Neymar and all the other footballers playing at the FIFA World Cup.
This week, South African streaming service Showmax announced that football lovers in sub-Saharan Africa will be able to stream the FIFA World Cup in 4K resolution for the first time ever.
Side bar: 4K resolutions are technically ultra-high definitions of pictures or videos. Basically, it’s a resolution that offers better quality images at a higher resolution.
The streaming option will be available to subscribers on Showmax Pro who will have access to all 64 FIFA matches starting this November.
“We built Showmax Pro with our football-loving continent in mind,” said Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Connected Video at MultiChoice in a statement sent to TechCabal. “We became the first streaming service in Africa to make mobile downloads possible for offline viewing and created the lowest data streaming option on the continent. Now we are gearing up for the world’s greatest sports spectacle, which deserves to be seen in the best quality possible, so we’re delighted to introduce 4K for the first time during the FIFA World Cup Qatar TM. The 4K stream will have up to 50 frames per second (fps), double the standard 25fps we currently offer.”
Users will also be able to access a Live option so they don’t miss out on all the interesting goals. The streaming service will be available on smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and smart boxes running on both Android and iOS systems.
Congratulations to everyone who enjoys men rolling around in the field, playing with balls!
TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Egyptian fintech Telda, raised $20 million in seed funding from GFC, Sequoia capital and block with the objective to revolutionise finance for the MENAP Region.
Here are the other deals this week:
Flapkap, a MENA-based company that offers revenue-focused financing to e-commerce brands, received $3.6 million in seed funding. QED led the round, and other investors included Nclude, A15, and Outliers.
Nigeria-based data and intelligence company Stears, raised $3.3 million in seed funding. The round was led by LED venture capital with participation from other investors such as Serena Ventures, Melo 7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund and Cascador.
Nigeria’s Lifestores healthcare, a pharmaceutical venture, raised $3.3 million in pre-series A funding. Health54 led the round, with participation from Aruwa Capital Management as a supporting lead and other existing investors.
Egyptian beauty services company, Glamera raised $1.3 million in a seed funding round led by Riyadh Angels Investors (RAI). Other participating investors include Techstars, Ithraa Venture Capital, 100 Ventures, Lucrative Ventures, and angel investors.
Egyptian tech-enabled marketplace iSUPPLY, raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed round led by Disrupt techventures and other undisclosed investors.
Prop source, a South African proptech company raised an undisclosed amount of funding to expand its residential product offering.
Vezeeta, an Egyptian healthtech company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from existing investors such as Golf Capital and VNV Global.
Are video streaming platforms chasing growth in Africa?
In the third quarter of 2022, on-demand streaming services in key African markets like South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, etc grew by 273%. Netflix led with the highest number of subscriptions while Showmax came in a close second. More international streaming services have taken note of this opportunity, and on-demand video platforms like Disney+ and Amazon Prime have set their sights on the African market.
What does the future hold for on-demand video streaming in Africa?
Join us on October 21, 2022, for a special edition of TechCabal live as we discuss the future of Africa’s on-demand streaming market.
DataFestAfrica is holding the first ever event that showcases all career professions within the data space in Africa. This event will be a gathering of data analysts, data scientists, data engineers, artificial intelligence engineers, machine learning engineers, and students aspiring to be data professionals. Watch the event here.