The proliferation of smartphones and the dropping of mobile data across Africa is creating a market for video-on-demand (VoD) services. That probably why the U.S.-based Netflix extended its services to many countries across Africa. It has also kick-started the sprouting of VoD services from Africa like ShowMax in South Africa.
Albeit having less coverage outside South Africa, ShowMax has rolled out in 65 countries including Nigeria and Kenya. A move that puts ShowMax up against streaming giants like Netflix. Nonetheless, ShowMax is taking a new approach in entering the new markets. A move that thinks about and proposes solutions to problems users face in consuming streaming content.
Yes, internet devices and connection have significantly fallen over the years across Kenya and across Africa. However, it is still beyond the reach of a lot of the consumers for the market to be consistent long-term consumers of the streamed content.
As ShowMax announced its official rolls out in Kenya – earlier it was on a pilot program open to just a few users in Kenya – it also announced that it is currently in talk with the leading telecom Safaricom. Talks that will see Safaricom mobile data service subscriber get affordable plans exclusively on the ShowMax platform.
“It doesn’t matter how good your service is if you don’t first solve the data challenge for customers, particularly for the majority of people who rely on mobile internet,” said ShowMax CEO John Kotsaftis.
Over the course of its trial pilot program in Kenya, ShowMax has also been working on building up local content for the market. It also came up with mobile money payment solution, where users can pay for the service via Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile wallet.
ShowMax Select: This is a mobile-first offer priced at Ksh 330 ($3.3) monthly. This platform is mobile data optimized thus reducing data charged on users by up to 75%. It also offers Kenyans local contents and they can pay for the service via M-Pesa.
ShowMax Premium: This offer gives users both local and international content and priced as Ksh. 880 ($8.8) per month.
Both platforms allow users to not only stream content, but also download videos for offline viewing; this is allowed for only a maximum of 25 shows. The downloaded videos will be valid for 30 days maximum.
ShowMax can be accessed via Android, Chromecast, iOS, and AppleTV. Payment options include VISA Credit Cards, PayPal, and M-Pesa.