ShowMax expands internet TV service to sub-Saharan Africa

ShowMax, the internet TV service launched in August 2015, has expanded its footprint to 36 additional countries across sub-Saharan Africa. In total, ShowMax now supplies subscription video on demand services to 65 countries worldwide.

ShowMax has officially launched internet TV services to 36 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The company originally launched in August 2015 with the largest subscription video on demand catalogue on the continent.  
The sub-Saharan service costs US$ 7.99 per month for unlimited viewing. The catalogue includes approximately fifteen thousand TV show episodes and movies, totaling almost ten thousand hours of viewing. The service includes a Kiswahili language section and a Nollywood section, as well as an African Film section that pulls together classic movies from across the continent.
Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer for ShowMax commented:
“The speed and cost of connectivity are significant hurdles for any internet-based service in Africa. Getting it right means you’ve got to do much more than just flick a switch.
“We’ve been busy testing the service in key locations across the continent and optimising our delivery network. Perhaps more importantly, we’ve adapted our apps to address the needs of consumers in Africa, introducing features like downloads for viewing TV shows and movies when not connected.”
The product features developed by ShowMax to address connectivity constraints include:

  • Adaptive bitrate streaming that monitors connection speeds and automatically adjusts video stream resolution to avoid buffering
  • Download functionality to save up to 25 TV shows and movies in total to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets for viewing offline
  • User-selectable download quality to limit data usage
  • User-selectable streaming quality to limit data usage
  • Automatic size reduction of static pictures delivered to mobile devices

“The other key to success is making sure you’ve got the right mix of international and local content. We’ve added Kiswahili and Nollywood shows and movies to our existing class-leading catalogue of Hollywood and British favourites,” said Ernst.
According to the GSMA, around 160 million connected smartphones were in use in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015, set to rise to more than 500 million by 2020. This explosive growth combined with the increasing availability of WiFi services, the rollout of FTTH in urban centres, and the rollout of other high speed fixed mobile options is driving the take-up of video on demand services.
“The growth potential of the African market is huge, and we’re not the only internet TV service looking to meet that demand. The difference is that we’re not simply cutting and pasting an existing model from elsewhere, and instead have built a product and content selection designed specifically for Africa,” concludes Ernst.
ShowMax offers a risk-free seven-day trial. For more information or to sign up for the trial, visit www.showmax.com
Notes for editors
In addition to operating across sub-Saharan Africa, the ShowMax platform is also being used to supply kykNET International to 28 countries worldwide. In total, ShowMax provides services in 65 countries.
The new sub-Saharan countries that ShowMax has launched in are:

  1. Botswana
  2. Burundi
  3. Cabo Verde
  4. Cameroon
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Chad
  7. Comoros
  8. Congo
  9. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  10. Djibouti
  11. Equatorial Guinea
  12. Eritrea
  13. Ethiopia
  14. Gabon
  15. Gambia
  16. Guinea
  17. Guinea-Bissau
  18. Kenya
  19. Lesotho
  20. Liberia
  21. Madagascar
  22. Malawi
  23. Mauritius
  24. Namibia
  25. Reunion
  26. Rwanda
  27. Saint Helena
  28. Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  29. Sao Tome and Principe
  30. Senegal
  31. Seychelles
  32. Swaziland
  33. Tanzania
  34. Uganda
  35. Zambia
  36. Zimbabwe

About ShowMax
ShowMax is an internet-based subscription video on demand service supplying an extensive catalogue of TV shows and movies to 65 countries. By leveraging relationships with major production studios from across the globe, ShowMax delivers both world-class international content as well as the best of specialised local content.
ShowMax is accessible across a wide range of devices from smart TVs, media players and computers to smartphones and tablets. To experience ShowMax, visit www.showmax.com
For more information, contact:
Richard Boorman, Head of Communications
[email protected]
+971 56 477 9627
+27 82 990 4080

About Naspers

Established in 1915, Naspers has transformed itself to become a global consumer internet company and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Through Prosus, the group operates and invests globally in markets with long-term growth potential, building leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. Prosus has its primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Naspers is the majority owner of Prosus.

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