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Showmax launches new plan aimed at increasing Africa’s access to Video on Demand


Subscription video on demand services haven’t fully addressed the needs of the majority of consumers in Africa, and the end result is take-up running well behind that seen in other economies. Showmax is now set to change this with the launch of a new product designed specifically for Africa featuring African content and live sport as well as TV series, movies and kids’ shows.


21 November 2019


The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model originated in the USA and spread rapidly 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 services 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. But the African SVoD service Showmax is set to change this with the launch of a new product.


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 unique 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. The same 14-day free trial and ability to cancel anytime applies. A full comparison of the mobile and standard plans is included in a table below.


Speaking about the launch of the new mobile plan for Africa, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, said:


“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.


“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 sport documentaries. The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was streamed live on Showmax earlier this month, and the following is a selection of some of the football due to be live-streamed during the remainder of November:


22 November: Levante vs Mallorca (La Liga)

23 November: Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)

24 November: Bologna vs Parma (Serie A)

25 November: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United (Premier League)

29 November: Celta Vigo vs Valladolid (La Liga)

30 November: Fiorentina vs Lecce (Serie A)

30 November: Chelsea vs West Ham United (Premier League)


Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.


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


For a 14-day free trial, visit

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende