News Update

Showmax overtakes Netflix as Africa’s biggest streaming platform with 39% share

Showmax increased its market share in Africa to 39 per cent. This was way higher than Netflix which claimed 33.5 per cent of the African market share.

Showmax, an online subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, has overtaken Netflix as Africa’s largest streaming platform. This was revealed in a report by Omdia Research. According to the report, as of November last year, Showmax increased its market share in Africa to 39 per cent. This was way higher than Netflix which claimed 33.5 per cent of the African market share.

The two companies have been treating subscribers to watch local content programming. Meanwhile, Showmax’s efforts appear to be yielding more viewership which in turn has seen it taking the lead. Data available shows the Multichoice-owned company has 2.1 million subscribers while Netflix has 1.8 million subscribers.

This development might be connected to Multichoice’s announcement in November last year that it would be launching Showmax 2.0. The new streaming platform was expected to contain blockbuster entertainment packages as well as the well-loved Premier League bundle.

Both streaming giants who are market leaders on the continent, are followed closely by Amazon Prime Video which came in at a distant third with 300,000 subscribers in Africa.

“In the last few years, Showmax has over-indexed on local content and they are clearly seeing the long-term impact of that strategy,” film industry investor and tech entrepreneur Jason Nkoju told Rest of World. “It’s a volume game, which the global streaming companies don’t fully seem to comprehend. I guess they will understand that now. The mass market prefers [its] own content.”

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New Showmax 2.0 could widen the gap

Showmax was launched in South Africa on August 19th, 2015 with its majority owner being MultiChoice which owns 70% of the Showmax group. NBCUniversal owns 30% in all territories except Nigeria, where NBCUniversal holds an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.

In 2023, Showmax announced a partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky with a plan to increase its content library which now includes a unique pipeline of key international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky. The new Showmax 2.0 was launched in February 2024 with a brand-new app and streaming platform, as well as an unprecedented content slate.

Content on the leading platform in Africa also cut across to international titles from Warner Bros. Discovery, BBC, HBO, Freemantle, Sony, Banjijay, eOne, Paramount, ITV and Lionsgate.

The General Entertainment package is currently priced at $2.89 (N2500) per month in Nigeria. Additionally, the new Premier League Mobile plan will be available at $3.35 per month (N2900), while the Entertainment and Premier League mobile bundle will cost ₦3,200 ($3.70) monthly.

Netflix is pricier in comparison with the premium tier costing N4,400 per month. The Standard plan costs N3600 while the Basic plan costs N2,900 per month.

Payment 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. This creates friction with the additional step of creating a virtual card through MPESA’s GlobalPay.

It is interesting how all this plays out this year as the streaming wars heat up not just in the continent but across the world as well. But Showmax might be dominating for a long time because of its irresistible catalogue of content.

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Ibrahim Ismail

A passionate and highly skilled individual who has seamlessly blended the worlds of statistics, technology, and finance.

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