Showmax increases Video on Demand access in Africa

November 22, 2019 • Company News, Online & Social, Top Stories

Subscription video on demand (SVoD) service, Showmax announced on Friday, 22 November 2019, that is hoping to address the challenges faced by many African’s when it comes to streaming platforms.

Showmax is set to launch a new product designed specifically for Africa featuring African content and live sport as well as TV series, movies and kids’ shows.

SVoD works in countries where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. The model relies on consumers being comfortable with transacting online and having ready access to credit cards. None of these conditions are present for the majority of people in Africa.

On top of that, smartphones and tablets are, for many in Africa, the primary, if not only, window to the internet, and up until now none of the most popular SVoD platforms have designed a product specifically for mobile usage.

In short, SVoD services haven’t adequately addressed the needs of the majority of consumers in Africa. The end result is these services have been out of reach for many, and take-up has been well behind that seen in other economies.

Showmax’s new mobile plan costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content. What sets Showmax apart is a combination of four pillars: hit African content, first and exclusive international series, the best kids’ shows, and live sport, including weekly matches from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga.

The new plan is specifically aimed at consumers who only use smartphones and tablets to watch video content. Video resolution peaks at standard definition to help reduce data consumption, and as a product for the individual, one concurrent stream is included in the plan.

“This is all about an African service developing a solution that meets the needs of African consumers. Customer feedback consistently points to local content and sport as some of the things that people value most from Showmax. That’s of course on top of the international series, movies, and kids’ shows that are our bread and butter. With all of that content now available in a product designed specifically for mobile usage, we’re doing something no other service can offer,” says Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice.

“On top of that, with groundbreaking deals like our new offer with Vodacom in South Africa, we solve the credit card issue through add-to-bill payment and the data issue by including data directly in the package. We’re looking to launch similar offers in Kenya and Nigeria soon.”

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sports documentaries. Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

Here is a comparison of Showmax plans:

Mobile  Standard
Price per month R49 / N1450 / KSh 375 R99 / N2900 / KSh 750
Watch on smartphone or tablet Yes Yes
Watch on smart TV and computer No Yes
HD streaming No Yes
TV series, movies, kids’ shows Yes Yes
Sport Yes Yes
Concurrent streams 1 2
Cancel anytime Yes Yes
14-day free trial Yes Yes
Chromecast and AirPlay No Yes
Number of devices One registered device 5 devices can be registered, with 2 able to stream at the same time

Edited by Jenna Delport

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