About two years ago, MTN Nigeria collaborated with Dobox Media, a Video on Demand startup, to produce MTN Dobox, and Etisalat is doing the same.
MTN launched their dobox two years and through this, MTN subscribers have used this platform to rent movies and pay with airtime, as well as download with no data charges.
At the time, it seemed like an exclusive deal, and later on, even looked as though MTN had acquired Dobox, it was later discovered that MTN was in a non exclusive licensing deal with Dobox.
At the Mobile West Africa held in May 2014, Etisalat mentioned that strategic partnerships with Do Media was going to happen, while a Dobox representative confirmed, Etisalat Nigeria declined to comment.
Yesterday, a yet-to-be-officially-announced product was seen on the Etisalat website — Etisalat Dobox, this raised a lot of questions.
Etisalat’s representative has responded to asked and unasked questions by saying, “We began the Etisalat Dobox collaboration with a soft launch in January. Communication was principally to existing customers on the network. The partnership is non-exclusive, and we hope to have a long term relationship with Do Media as a provider of content.”
According to a Dobox representative, “Our license to MTN Dobox has not elapsed. We have successfully integrated with MTN, Etisalat and Airtel (non exclusively).”
MTN Dobox’s page is still alive and well, but there seems to be a little difficulty activating the service, Airtel Dobox doesn’t appear to exist at the moment.
Etisalat’s Dobox on the other hand not only seems fully functional, but more fully featured than its MTN predecessor.
Apart from movies, Etisalat Dobox users will be able to access to music videos, movie trailers, short films/documentaries and TV series.
Like MTN Dobox, Etisalat Dobox subscribers will pay for their rentals with airtime, but download content for free.
Dobox is not without competition as it is only one of the of the portals that offer video on demand services in Nigeria.
There’s iROKOtv, which has found the time within aggressive African expansion to launch an offiline download option for its Nigerian subscribers.
Then there’s Solo View which allows viewers buy and download Hollywood and Nollywood titles, while it might be too early to declare a war among Video on Demand(VODs), the stakes have clearly been raised.