Multichoice’s streaming platform, Showmax, has delayed Showmax 2.0’s launch from November 2023 to February 2024, but promises new shows and films from global production companies including NBC and Paramount, with a streaming engine powered by Peacock.
The delay also comes with details about reorganized subscription tiers, addressing customer complaints following the discontinuation of Showmax Pro.
Showmax 2.0 introduces three plans:
- Showmax Entertainment: Accessible on multiple devices, including TVs, smartphone apps, and PCs. Subscribers will have access to shows, films, and content from international platforms such as Universal Pictures and NBC.
- Showmax Entertainment Mobile: Offers the same content as Showmax Entertainment but is exclusively available on mobile devices.
- Showmax Premier League: Exclusively broadcasts Premier League matches, focusing solely on these games. It is designed for football enthusiasts who frequently made use of Showmax Pro, which featured games from major European football leagues.
While the revamped platform brings new subscription options, certain limitations from the existing Showmax platform will persist:
- Streaming Quality: Showmax Entertainment will be capped at HD quality, while mobile plans will be limited to standard quality, which is lower than HD. This contrasts competitors like Netflix, which offers content in 4K and HDR.
- Number of Screens: Showmax 2.0 does not increase the number of screens for concurrent streams. Showmax Entertainment allows two screens, while the mobile plan users are limited to one screen. This limitation remains unexplained, especially when rival Netflix allows streaming on up to four devices simultaneously.
Despite these limitations, Showmax’s popularity has continued to grow in Africa, currently boasting 1.8 million subscribers as of 2022, with a significant majority (73.3%) based in its home market, South Africa.
As streaming platforms continue to invest in the African market, Netflix, with 1.2 million subscribers, is also focusing on emerging markets to offset plateauing subscription numbers in Western markets. Showmax plans to strengthen its position in Africa with a substantial investment of up to $1 billion dedicated to original shows and market expansion.