Feature: Internet TV takes the market to beat digital subscriptions in Kenya.





A tiny long cable stretches from a metallic post into Aggrey's house along Thika road in Nairobi, Kenya's capital. The internet cable which was installed late last year enables them to watch local and international TV shows and movies.

"I used to pay monthly to watch my television but discontinued the service after realizing I would get
more if I watch through the internet," said Aggrey.

Before taking up the service, he signed for a 30-day free trial service, loved it and subscribed, he recounts, adding that he accessed the shows on every one of his devices that include smartphones, laptops, and tablets.


Aggrey is among a growing number of Kenyans who are embracing PTV (internet-protocol TV) in the East African nation as the service picks up amid growth of digital TV subscriptions.

Internet TV subscriptions are fast growing, clocking 23,076 people in 2018, a rise from 18 in 2017, the latest data from Communication of Kenya (CA). One of the things that are pushing up the uptake of internet TV in Kenya is the low charges coupled with many shows that one can watch online.

The good thing with internet TV is that you can download the shows and movies and watch later offline.

Internet TV is the newest kid on the block in Kenya in terms of the channel to access TV shows, the
others being cable, satellite and set-top boxes.

Just as internet TV, subscriptions to the rest of the channels have equally increased making Kenya
migration to digital TV a roaring success.


According to the CA, 5.82 million Kenyans have subscribed to digital TV in 2018, up from 1.31
million in 2014 when Kenya announced the switch to digital migration.

From 5.82 million subscribers to, 4.51 million people use free-to-air set-top boxes, 1.1 million satellite TV while 466,604 million use cable TV.

Internet television is the future of television in Kenya as the service is spreading more as families take up home internet and it may be just a matter of time before it catches up or even overtakes pay TV since consumers are moving with trends and demanding more.

Digital TV has also opened space in the broadcasting sector. Kenya has recorded a surging number of
radio and TV stations in the last years' thanks to digital migration.


Unlike before when one had to set up transmission stations across the country with digital TV, all an
investor needs is to register their stations and formulate content, which is then carried by companies
offering distribution services.

Digital TV stations in Kenya rose from 60 in 2015 to 120 in 2018 while the number of radio stations
stands at 178 from 139 in 2015.


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