Showmax reflects on eight years

By Content Nigeria reporter
August 18, 2023


As Showmax marks its eighth birthday this weekend, the MultiChoice-owned African streamer has reflected upon its journey, which has been marked by significant achievements.

Yolisa Phahle

During its existence, the streaming service has attained noteworthy milestones. The number of Showmax subscribers has exhibited an impressive average growth rate of 26% over the past four years, the company said.

Showmax is also the most highly rated streaming app in South Africa, as evidenced by its ratings of 4.6 on the South African Google Play store and 4.8 on Apple’s App Store. These figures place Showmax in close proximity to Apple TV+’s ratings, showcasing the platform’s high level of user satisfaction and engagement.

The streaming platform’s local content has also garnered awards at events such as the SAFTAs in South Africa, AMVCAs in Nigeria, Kalashas in Kenya and International Emmys in the US. Showmax cop drama Reyka, for example, clinched nominations for two International Emmys, while thriller series Spinners achieved a milestone as the first African series to be chosen at CanneSeries in France.

Furthermore, other series such as Recipes for Love & Murder as well as Donkerbos earned their spots in the esteemed Berlinale Series Market Selects, alongside other notable recent recognitions.

Showmax features local content in more than 20 African languages. In 2022, seven of the 10 most streamed titles on Showmax in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria and nine of the top 10 in Ghana were African. Overall, local content viewership on Showmax has hit 57% in 2023, while viewership for Zulu telenovela The Wife has now surpassed 50 million hours ahead of any international content.

In March 2023, Showmax unveiled a collaboration with Comcast’s US studio NBCUniversal and European pay TV arm Sky for a relaunch set to take place before the end of this financial year, ending March 2024. The new Showmax will combine MultiChoice’s investment in local content with a pipeline of international content from NBCUniversal and Sky, third-party content from HBO, Warner Brothers, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League matches.

In addition, Showmax is the only place in Africa to stream the following international drama series that are nominated at the upcoming 75th Emmy Awards: family business drama Succession S4 (27 nominations), post-apocalyptic video game adaptation The Last of Us S1 (24 noms) and the Sicily-set The White Lotus S2 (23 noms).

Other achievements for Showmax include emerging as the first streaming platform on the continent to facilitate mobile downloads, allowing users to enjoy content offline, as well as enabling the lowest data streaming option on the continent and accepting payments in local currencies and payment platforms.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax, said: “Showmax is clearly differentiated from the international streamers by our local content and football, a strategy that has seen Showmax consistently deliver subscriber growth ahead of target. Africa’s population is growing at three times the global average – an unrivalled growth opportunity – and is expected to double in size by 2050 to around 2.5 billion – 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.”

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