MultiChoice streaming service, Showmax, has announced plans to discontinue its streaming services outside Africa by 1st December 2023, to focus primarily on meeting the needs of its African customer base.
The move follows Showmax’s earlier announcement to shut down its paid tier, Showmax Pro, which previously offered users access to live sports and news from SuperSport. Showmax revealed in a statement that, “for the moment, we will be focused specifically on the African market and on meeting the needs of our growing customer communities across the dynamic continent.”
Showmax 2.0 and NBC Universal Partnership
Showmax 2.0 is scheduled to launch in March 2024, however its full details haven’t been disclosed. Showmax 2.0 includes a partnership with NBC Universal’s Peacock, introducing new content to Showmax. This collaboration involved NBC Universal acquiring a 30% stake in Showmax for $30 million, strengthening Showmax’s position in the competitive streaming market.
Showmax, which launched in South Africa in 2015 has also adjusted its pricing since July 2023, with a $2 increase in its Premium Plus subscription tier.
Challenges and Competition
Showmax’s decision to refocus its efforts on just Africa signfies the ongoing challenge it faces competing with international streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, and DisneyPlus. As of 2021, Netflix held the largest number of subscribers, boasting 2.6 million users, while Showmax had 800,000 subscribers.
To stay competitive, MultiChoice, the parent company of Showmax, has also begun raising subscription prices for its DStv and GOtv services across the Africa. In Nigeria, a 19% increase in subscription packages was recently announced, marking the second price hike in 2023, with the first being an 18% increment back in May.
MultiChoice is moving strategically to maintain its standing in the streaming industry, particularly in the face of growing competition from international streaming services.
Showmax’s decision to focus exclusively on the African market demonstrates its commitment to meeting the specific needs of its African user base, emphasizing the dynamic and evolving nature of the continent’s digital entertainment landscape. This strategic shift coincides with Showmax’s preparations for the launch of Showmax 2.0 in 2024 and its collaboration with NBC Universal, which holds the promise of fresh and engaging content for African audiences.