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Netflix competitor ShowMax launches in 36 sub-Saharan African countries


It’s the age of internet TV – the age of internet anything really – and the battle is getting bigger about who can deliver high quality content in emerging economies that have a huge demand for content especially on mobile devices. Enter ShowMax, a TV streaming service owned by Nasper that is an internet-based subscription video on demand service supplying an extensive catalogue of TV shows and movies to 65 countries. It has been just launched in 36 sub-Saharan African countries.

How will they adapt to lack of or slow internet connectivity in these African countries?

Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer for ShowMax said in statement that:

“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.”

In a blog, ShowMax said it will respond to this lack of or slow internet connectivity in some areas with the following features:

  • 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

Offline viewing is something other  TV streaming services are not offering at the moment. ShowMax also offers a variety of local African and Bollywood content, something Netflix is far behind on. The price of subscription to ShowMax is $7.99 (less than K80 and $1 cheaper than Netflix) for  a month of unlimited TV streaming from over 15ooo options, but anyone signing up for the first time has a 7-day free trial. Sign up here.

The 36 new countries ShowMax has been launched in are

  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Namibia
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


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