Next Wave: Showmax is promising, but it needs to fix a few technical basics

2024 is shaping up to be a challenging year for streaming platforms in Africa after Showmax, the continent’s leading video-on-demand platform, revamped to change into Showmax 2.0. Nonetheless, the change runs deeper: following years of negotiations with potential commercial partners that saw NBCUniversal pump $177 million into the platform, Showmax secured additional collaborations, together with HBO and Sky. Its streaming expertise has obtained a enhance and is now leveraging Peacock’s expertise. The company has also site better ambitions to reach 50 million subscribers within 5 years. Nonetheless, has it site such a excessive target and no longer famend the basics?

As of November 2023, Showmax recorded 2.1 million subscribers in Africa. Its main rival, Netflix, saw a decline in subscribers, dropping to 1.8 million from the 2.6 million it registered two years earlier. This means that Showmax now claims the title of Africa’s premier streaming carrier with a market share of 38.7%, whereas Netflix comes in 2nd at 33.5%. Amazon Prime Video picks the third position with a 5.6% market share and 300,000 subscribers. Prime Video, nonetheless, seems to have shifted its level of interest away from the African and Middle Eastern markets, suspending the manufacturing of original displays within the space to concentrate on Western markets.

Market share of streaming platforms in Africa

Showmax’s upper hand

With these numbers, it is clear that Showmax, partly owned by MultiChoice, is doing something correct. Its greatest advantage lies in its grasp of local culture and preferences. This has enabled Showmax to understand Africa’s diverse cultures, languages, and tastes. Such understanding is essential for picking sigh material that appeals to local viewers, together with culturally-significant displays, motion footage, and original productions. For instance, Showmax tailors its campaigns and promotions in countries treasure Kenya utilizing local languages such as Swahili and Sheng’. A few of its local productions are aired in Swahili.

Next Wave continues after this ad.

Technology in Africa has grown in leaps and bounds. Whereas the continent has made strides in increasing overall connectivity, ladies are being left at the back of.

Ladies account for roughly half of the population and despite the event made in fresh years, they account for a disproportionate—and increasing—share of the global offline population, with South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa having the arena’s widest gender gap.

But why is this the case? What barriers are fighting ladies from fully participating within the tech industry?
Be part of us on Wednesday, March twenty sixth at 11AM (WAT) along with key players in digital inclusion and expertise to explore these
questions and potential alternatives.

Register here.

Moreover uniquely tailoring its sigh material catalogue to suit African viewers’ tastes and interests through local languages, regional talent, and relevant issues, the platform also produces original African sigh material, such as locally-made motion footage and series, together with more than one editions of The Real Housewives reality displays in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, attracting a broader audience.

These advantages, among many others that have no longer been talked about, are why folks pay for Showmax. But, Showmax can tranquil enact more.

Next Wave continues after this ad.

Talent PEO Africa launches in Kenya, offering total HR alternatives for companies. From EOR products and companies to recruitment and HR consulting, we simplify operations for seamless increase. Partner with us to tap into Kenya’s talent, navigate regulations, and achieve success.

Contact us at or

Merely fix the basics

After axing Showmax Pro, which allowed subscribers to watch stay games on their gadgets, Showmax 2.0 ought to tranquil have discovered a better way to allow customers to at least watch the Premier League (it is handiest available on cell) on tall monitors. But, this is no longer supported now.

Showmax Premier League (cell) is a stripped-down version of what Showmax Pro once equipped. As the name suggests, it completely airs English Premier League matches, skipping stay matches from varied leading leagues such as La Liga and Serie A. This is what made Showmax Pro so attractive.


Moreover utilizing drawl mask mirroring strategies treasure Miracast or a fashion-C-to-HDMI adaptor for a cable connection, there’s at the moment no way to replicate your cell mask to a TV whereas utilizing Showmax. This technical issue is due to Showmax’s digital rights management (DRM) protocols. It is an distress that contradicts the impartial of paying for a streaming carrier, as customers demand seamless access to sigh material. Nonetheless, this restriction is a deliberate tactic to separate Showmax from DStv Stream, a digital version of the traditional DStv carrier with a tough games catalogue.

Partner Stutter material:
Read: FirstBank launches fourth Digital Xperience Centre in Banana Island

Showmax also needs to increase the alternative of concurrent monitors from two to more; at KES 1,000 (about $8), customers ought to be able to ogle sigh material on more monitors simultaneously, pondering that rivals offer enhance for up to four monitors for nearly the same label.

All in the course of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Showmax supported 4K streams , displaying its capability to ship excessive-quality sigh material and streams. Whereas Showmax 1.0 was limited to HD quality, the upgrade to 2.0 has boosted this to beefy HD. This is a welcome increase, but nowa days, 1080p is inadequate and customers demand better because its underlying Peacock tech supports 4K streams in varied markers.

The transition to Showmax 2.0 has also been accompanied by more than one technical issues. Customers encountered issues accessing the current Showmax app on their TVs, whereas others skilled difficulties signing into their accounts. Of us that managed to log in reported performance issues, together with instances the place the app iced up for a long time. Customers in countries such as Kenya complained about the inability to pay for subscriptions via cell cash (Showmax assured them that this issue would be addressed soon). The migration process was no longer soft and may perhaps have been handled better.

These are challenges that Showmax can overcome given its talented team, financial sources, and passion, having established itself in a extremely competitive market. For now, we have our fingers crossed!

Kenn Abuya

Senior Reporter, TechCabal

Thank you for reading this far. Really feel free to email kenn[at], with your thoughts about this edition of NextWave. Or appropriate click on answer to share your thoughts and feedback.

We’d admire to hear from you

Psst! Down here!

Thanks for reading today’s Next Wave. Please share. Or subscribe if somebody shared it to you here totally free to accept original views on the event of digital innovation in Africa every Sunday.

As always feel free to email a answer or response to this essay. I like reading those emails a lot.

TC Daily newsletter is out daily (Mon – Fri) temporary of all the expertise and commercial stories you wish to know. Accumulate it for your inbox each weekday at 7 AM (WAT).

Apply TechCabal on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay engaged in our real-time conversations on tech and innovation in Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like