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Showmax Leads Streaming in Africa with 39% Market Share


According to a new report by Omdia Research, Showmax has become Africa’s largest streaming platform, surpassing Netflix in market share. As of November 2022, Showmax claimed 39% of the African market compared to Netflix’s 33.5%.

This aligns with MultiChoice’s November announcement of Showmax 2.0, containing premium entertainment and Premier League bundles. The upgrades have likely boosted Showmax’s lead over Netflix.

Far behind in third place is Amazon Prime Video with just 300,000 African subscribers.

Launched in South Africa in 2015, Showmax is majority owned by MultiChoice with a 70% stake. NBCUniversal owns 30%, except in Nigeria where it holds 23.7% of the local unit.

In 2023, Showmax expanded its content library by partnering with NBCUniversal and Sky. The new Showmax 2.0 launched in February 2024 with a revamped app and slate.

The platform also features international titles from Warner Bros., BBC, HBO, Sony, Banijay, and more. In Nigeria, the general package costs N2,500 ($2.89) monthly, while the Premier League mobile plan is N2,900 ($3.35).

By comparison, Netflix’s premium tier is pricier at N4,400 per month. Its reliance on cards and PayPal also creates friction for subscribers.

Showmax’s rapid growth highlights some key strategic advantages. As a MultiChoice brand, it retains customers within an existing ecosystem. Bundling Premier League matches enhances appeal to African audiences. Producing local content also attracts more loyal viewership.

Additionally, Showmax’s content partnerships expand its catalog cost-effectively. Offering mobile plans and lower pricing removes adoption barriers. Integrated carrier billing could further boost subscribers.

While Netflix enjoys strong brand recognition, it faces challenges tailoring its model specifically for Africa. However, investment in local stories and talent is paying dividends for Netflix. This battle is just beginning as the continent’s streaming potential grows.

Showmax’s success provides a blueprint for streaming in Africa – local ownership, content, and prices drive relevance. A customizable platform like Showmax 2.0 caters to diverse interests. Meeting unique consumer needs will be vital, not just copying Western models.

Looking ahead, as internet connectivity spreads, entertainment streaming is poised to soar across Africa. With its early lead, Showmax can cement itself as the service of choice. Netflix remains formidable competition, keeping both innovating for subscribers. For now, Showmax reigns supreme by leveraging assets that ring true in Africa. But in the streaming wars, the real winner is the African consumer.



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