The realm of streaming and on-demand services is expanding by the minute. Industry heavy hitters Netflix, and — locally — Showmax, have been dominating the space for quite some time. Truthfully I feel that the aforementioned services are all that I need, but now Discover Digital seems to think otherwise with their new service: DEOD!
DEOD is a brand-new online video service that offers various types of content and a host of subscription tiers in order to make it as affordable as can possible for end users. Discover Digital was nice enough to offer Vamers a one-month subscription and a single movie rental so we could see what the new service is all about.
More sports than blockbusters [Content]
As you can imagine, on-demand services kind of need good content to keep people from getting their fixes elsewhere. DEOD is actually pretty unique in this sense. In addition to on-demand content, the service also offers live channels, movie rentals, videos-on-demand (VODs) of sports matches and even analytics of said matches.
In terms of on-demand content, DEOD has nowhere near the offerings that you can get from the likes of Showmax. Its library is quite small, but it does have all of the blockbuster hits that most people would want to watch. With that said, the hits on offer never really included any of the latest films. Want to watch something from Marvel? Sure, here is Iron Man or Captain America. Want to watch the newest Avengers: Age of Ultron? You are out of luck!
Although my example is just one of many, the point rings true for most international hits – something that is supposed to draw in the crowds. This disparity is strange, considering other services tend to get the films as soon as they become available to on-demand services. Nevertheless, I have given DEOD a pass on this one since their other big marketing push seems to be “niche” live channels such as motocross, watersports and the like; as well as on-demand paid for VODs and analytic videos of many soccer, rugby, and cricket matches, both local and international.
I have to admit that I do like the channel offerings that DEOD has, but for all the wrong reasons. Normally, video streaming services are meant to be watched or listened to. I liked the channels because they created pretty awesome background noise. Yes, I like to listen to people talk while I work, which is why I have YouTube running 20 hours a day. As you might expect, DEOD replaced YouTube – for about two weeks of the month. That is good, I guess?
In terms of series, DEOD managed to have up-to-date BBC International content – the same content featured on Showmax. This means that, at the time, I could at least binge the likes of Luther and The Honourable Woman and Doctor Who. On top of that, DEOD also features a lot of local content, which is kind of cool, but nine times out of ten, not my cup of tea.
I reckon sports is where the service excels the most. On that note, I have to give them kudos on this front. While DEOD cannot live stream matches that would typically be found on DSTV (since Multichoice has licensing deals in place), the service can upload on-demand videos and highlight reels of the matches pretty soon after said matches have completed. As such, you can be rest assured that you will always find highlight reels of your favourite sport on the service.
Now, remember how I explained that the live channels marketing spiel is all about “niche” sports and the like? Well, it was not a lie, since their live channels include 24/7 access to yacht racing, skiing, mountain biking, and more. However, not a single channel, VOD, or even mention, went toward Archery. Archery is as niche a sport as you can get, and my personal favourite hobby – the only sport I follow religiously. However, if soccer is your thing, you will find VODs on DEOD.
Movie renting is another big feature that Discover Digital wanted us to check out. So big, in fact, that we got a single movie rental coupon. I fondly remember sitting down with the popcorn, switching on the service, waiting for the missus to get ready, and searching the catalogue. We ended up watching Showmax. I kid. We watched Netflix.
While that is obviously a joke, I must say that, at least at the time, the offerings were nothing more than average blockbuster hits, and some local flicks were strewn in there for good measure. I understand that the service will be getting more current content in the coming months, but at least for me, it currently feels lacking.
Affordable content [Pricing & Availability]
When it comes to affordability, I think DEOD has everyone beat, hands down. The service has a pricing option for pretty much anyone. Are you a sports connoisseur? Get the Sports Package. Like to rent movies only? There is a package for that. Do you only watch live channels of people mountain biking all day? For a [very small] fee, you can do just that!
Honestly, DEOD really has good pricing options. I was actually pretty surprised when I saw the prices. At the time of this writing, they have four main options:
- NEWS & SPORTS – R99
- ON-DEMAND – R69
- ON-DEMAND & NEWS – R99
- DEOD PREMIUM – R159
Besides those options, however, DEOD also features daily and weekly pricing options, as well as more combinations between the various categories. Furthermore, all monthly packages will run for an entire month, regardless of when it is purchased. This means that you can go from the fifth to the fifth or from any other day of the month. The service does not end when the month does.
Nascent service with room to grow [Conclusion]
While it is still very obvious that DEOD is going through some growing pains, it is only just an infant when compared to the huge heavy hitters in the industry. With that said, I do see some promise in many of the categories it is touting. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the service needs a lot of love and attention before it can be allowed a spot at the water fountain with the seniors.
My month with the service was quite decent. As I mentioned above, I liked the live channels, and I particularly did like the BBC catalogue of on-demand content. The problem is that Showmax also offers that exact content, and quite a bit more.
I do feel like the service has a place in the industry. With the sheer number of packages on offer, DEOD will certainly have a spot in someone’s entertainment library. It just won’t be mine, for now.
|Compatibility||OSX, Windows, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku|
|Acquisition||Review period courtesy of Discover Digital|
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