Showmax has been around since 2015 and it’s one of the most popular streaming services in South Africa. The streaming service is celebrating its eigth birthday this weekend (on the 19th of August 2023).
There’s probably a lot that you didn’t know about this streaming service, but today my aim is to change that…
Here are 11 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Showmax
1. This streaming service has grown significantly
As noted in MultiChoice’s May 2023 Capital Markets Day, paying Showmax subscribers increased by an average growth rate of 26% between 2019 and 2023.
2. Their app is highly rated
Showmax is currently the highest rated streaming app in both the South African Google Play and Apple app stores. Their app has a 4.6 rating in the Google Play store and a 4.8 rating of in the Apple app store, where it’s tied with Apple TV, which has roughly 1/10th as many votes.
3. A relaunch is in the pipeline
In March 2023, Showmax announced a partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniveral and Sky. When relaunched, Showmax will combine MultiChoice’s accelerating investment in local content with a unique pipeline of award-winning and critically acclaimed international content.
The international content will be licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky, third party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League (EPL) football, all powered by Peacock’s globally-scaled technology. The relaunch is expected before the end of the current financial year, (ending March 2024).
4. They offer the best local content
Series that are available on the streaming service were the biggest winner at the most recent AMVCAs in Nigeria, SAFTAs in South Africa, and Kalasha Awards in Kenya, while Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story won the Audience Award at Tribeca, Reyka was nominated for two International Emmys, Showmax Original Spinners became the first African series selected at CanneSeries, and Recipes for Love and Murder and Donkerbos were both selected for Berlinale Series Market Selects, among other recent accolades.
Having the best local content, in over 20 African languages, is a key selling point: in 2022, seven of the 10 most streamed titles in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria, and nine of the top 10 in Ghana on Showmax were African. Overall, local content viewership on the streaming service hit 57% in FY2023, while Showmax audiences have now watched over 50 million hours of The Wife, the streaming serivce’s most popular series so far, ahead of any international content.
5. They also offer the best Internal Drama Series
Showmax is the only place in Africa to stream the three most-nominated shows overall at the upcoming 75th Emmy Awards: the family business drama Succession S4 (27 nominations), the post-apocalyptic The Last Of Us S1 (24) and the Sicily-set, sex-themed The White Lotus S2 (23).
It’s the home of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon (8 nominations), and Showtime’s survival horror Yellowjackets (3 nominations), giving it five of the eight nominees for Best Drama. Overall, at the 2023 Emmys, Showmax is home to 18 nominated titles from six networks and platforms, up for a combined 121 awards.
The streaming service is also streaming five of the 10 biggest box office hits of last year globally: Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, The Batman, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Of the Top 20, Showmax has 12.
6. The streamer has a long list of Firsts in Africa
Built with African realities in mind, Showmax was the first streaming service in Africa to make mobile downloads possible for offline viewing and the first to launch a mobile-only plan. Showmax also introduced the lowest data streaming option on the continent and accepts payments in the most local currencies and payment platforms.
7. The service allows you to stream football on your phone
Showmax Pro streams SuperSport content in Africa, including the most watched football league in the world, England’s Premier League.
This is a key selling point in a football-mad continent and helped Showmax Pro more than double its subscriber base in the last financial year, according to the June 2023 MultiChoice results. Leading tech magazine Stuff named Showmax Pro Streaming Service of the Year for 2022, in part for successfully streaming the FIFA World Cup in 4K.
8. Showmax is available on a content with a growing population and growing connectivity
“Showmax is clearly differentiated from the international streamers by our local content and football, a strategy which has seen Showmax consistently deliver subscriber growth ahead of target, Africa’s population is growing at three times the global average – an unrivaled growth opportunity – and is expected to double in size by 2050 to around 2.5bn – likely to be a quarter of the world’s population. Combined with growing internet connectivity off the lowest base in the world, this gives us an incredible opportunity.” according Yolisa Phahle (the CEO of Showmax).
9. Showmax is part of the Multichoice Group
Multichoice is the the biggest producer of content in Africa, who spend 50% of their general entertainment budget on local content: over R20 billion in the last financial year. MultiChoice is producing content in 22 languages and counting, reaching 23.5 million homes across 50 countries as one of the top 5 pay-tv companies outside China.
10. More growth is predicted for the streaming service
According to the latest report by Digital TV Research, the number of African streaming video on demand subscribers will grow to reach a total of 18 million by 2029. This represents a 10 million increase from the 8 million subscribers expected in the continent at the close of 2023.
They predict Showmax will have 4.4 million paying subscribers by 2029 – nearly 3 million more than 2023.“The SVOD sector in Anglophone Africa is evolving into a battle between Netflix and local player Showmax.” according to Simon Murray (the principal analyst at Digital TV Research).
11. Showmax launched a new app in February 2024
This happened 10 months after MultiChoice, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky announced a joint streaming vision for Africa. The new version of the app is a lot faster than their orignal app.
Well, there you have it, 11 Interesting facts you might not have known about Showmax. If you don’t have an account with them yet, sign up HERE.
If I’ve left out something important, feel free to comment below.
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