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Showmax, a Naspers’ owned subscription video-on-demand service has launched mobile-only plans targeting users in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa aimed at increasing Africa’s access to Video on Demand.

Showmax’s new mobile plan costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content.

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.

Showmax’s mobile users will have access to top 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 targets majority of users in Afica who are mobile only-use smartphones and tablets and not computers and smart TVs. 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.

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.

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The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model originated in the US where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. Access to credit cards, smart TVs and computers are also easily available unlike in Africa where none of these conditions are present. 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 the mobile product.

“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,” added Ekdahl.

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sport documentaries. 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


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