Multichoice-linked Showmax launched, targets Kenya’s VOD market

ShowMax, a subscription video on demand (VOD) service, has launched a two-tier service for watching TV shows and movies via the internet. The packages are targeted at Kenya’s internet TV consumers.

ShowMax Select, priced at Kshs 330 per month is a mobile-first, data optimised product that offers reduced data consumption with savings of up to 75%, has a specific focus on local content, and is paid for using M-PESA. Kenya is the first country to have this second tier added to ShowMax.

ShowMax Premium, priced at Kshs 880 per month, has a full range of international and local content.

Both tiers allow subscribers to either stream content or to download up to 25 shows to watch offline. Downloaded content is valid for 30 days. Data usage is charged separately and works with a customer’s existing data bundles.

Speaking about this, ShowMax CEO John Kotsaftis said: “We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Kenya has different needs and tastes to other countries and deserves something designed specifically for Kenyans. ShowMax is the first international internet TV service that’s priced in Kenya Shillings and paid for using M-PESA. It’s the first to put strong emphasis on local content including having sports clips. It’s the first to be optimised for mobile usage, reducing data consumption by as much as 75%. And it’s the first to deliver all of this at an affordable price point.”

ShowMax features local favourites such as Real Househelps of Kawangware, Churchill Live, Auntie Boss, and Kona, as well as popular series and movies from Hollywood like Mr Robot, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Blue Bloods, and The Good Wife.

Subscribers can choose from a number of different download video quality levels. Using the most data-efficient setting, downloading a 20-minute TV show will use approximately 80 MB. This means that a 7.5 GB data bundle would be enough for more than 90 episodes.

Speaking about the consumer uptake of video on demand services, John Kotsaftis said: “Kenya has all the right ingredients: tech-savvy consumers, rapidly expanding internet connectivity, and an appetite for quality TV shows and movies. So why hasn’t internet TV taken off yet?

“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. That’s why we designed data-saving features and the ability to download content into Showmax from the outset. With these features and a strong focus on local content, we think Showmax will finally crack the internet TV model in Kenya.”

Showmax is an internet-based subscription video on demand service (also referred to as internet TV) that delivers TV shows and movies via the internet. For one monthly fee, users watch as much as they want on a wide range of devices from smartphones and tablets to computers and smart TVs. Customers are able to pick what and when they want to watch, and there are no ad breaks. Showmax was originally launched in 2015 and is currently available in 65 countries as a single-tier service.

ShowMax Premium adds access to the full Showmax catalogue of hit shows and movies from Hollywood and the UK. It’s the largest subscription video catalogue in Africa. ShowMax Premium contains approximately 30% regional content and 70% international content.

Both tiers (Showmax Premium and Showmax Select) feature a download function, making it possible to store up to 25 TV shows and movies for viewing offline later. This function works with both mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity and is an ideal way for customers who have Wi-Fi connectivity at some point in the day to download content and watch later while commuting or at home.

Both tiers also have a child-friendly profiles function that allows parents to manage the type of content their children can see. Four different age levels are available: younger kids, older kids, teens, and adults.


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