Showmax Unseats Netflix as Africa’s Number One Streaming Platform

Showmax Unseats Netflix as Africa’s Number One Streaming Platform

Netflix has been overthrown by Showmax as the continent’s top streaming platform. The two are Africa’s market leaders followed closely by Amazon Prime Video which came in at a distant third.

Omdia Research reports that 8-year-old Showmax increased its market share as of November last year to 39% toppling Netflix which had 33.5%.

Showmax, whose majority owner is Multichoice, launched in mid-August 2015 and is available in 44 countries in Africa while Netflix landed in the continent in 2016 and is available in 54 countries with a focus in South Africa(73%), Kenya(3.9%) and Nigeria(10.5%).

Both platforms have been vying for subscribers with efforts such as local content programming but it seems like Showmax’s efforts have won more viewers.

Showmax has 2.1 million subscribers while Netflix has 1.8 million subscribers and Amazon Prime Video has 300,000 subscribers in Africa.

In March last year, the streamer partnered with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky in their relaunch plan to increase its content library which now includes a unique pipeline of key international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky.

With the re-launch of Showmax 2.0 this month thanks to the partnership between the three which now means the new platform is powered by Peacock’s globally-scaled technology that has come with it’s fair share of hiccups.

Showmax also has access to international titles from Warner Bros. Discovery, BBC, HBO, Freemantle, Sony, Banjijay, eOne, Paramount, ITV and Lionsgate.

Here’s how the three plans are priced:

  • Showmax Entertainment Mobile: Ksh 300 per month
  • Showmax Premier League Mobile: Ksh 500 per month
  • Showmax Entertainment: Ksh 650 per month
  • Bundled Offer Mobile – Premier League and Entertainment: Ksh 700 per month
  • Bundled Offer – Entertainment(All Devices) and Premier League: Ksh 1000 per month

Netflix is pricier in comparison with the premium tier starting at Ksh 1100 per month while Amazon Prime Video is the cheapest with a Ksh 560 monthly subscriber fee.

Payments for the streaming platform has been an issue when it comes to Netflix increasing the number of its subscribers as they rely on card and Paypal payments which creates friction with the additional step of creating a virtual card through MPESA’s GlobalPay.

It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out this year as the streaming wars heat up not just in the continent but across the world as well.


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