February 20, 2024

This African Streaming Service Has Surpassed Netflix As The Continent’s Top Platform


Showmax, a South African company, has surpassed Netflix to become the leading streaming platform in Africa. 

With a subscriber count of 2.1 million in Africa as of November 2023, surpassing Netflix’s 1.8 million, Showmax’s rise signifies a significant change in the region’s media consumption habits.


Showmax is an online subscription video-on-demand service that launched in South Africa in August 2015.

Its majority owner is MultiChoice, which owns 70% of the Showmax group, while NBCUniversal owns 30% in all territories except Nigeria.

The platform’s content strategy, which focuses heavily on local African content alongside high-quality international offerings, has resonated well with viewers. 

Key partnerships with HBO for exclusive content licensing and a 30% stake acquisition by Comcast through NBCUniversal have further strengthened its position.

The platform’s diverse content library, including rights to the English Premier League and popular local productions like ‘Freemen,’ a docuseries about Nigeria’s Igbo community, has played a crucial role in its growth. 

Furthermore, Showmax’s relationship with local creators and support for projects like filmmaker Tobechukwu Ejiofor’s documentary demonstrates its commitment to nurturing African talent.

Facing Adversity And Challenges

Despite these strengths, Showmax has faced challenges, such as improving the user experience on its app. 

It responded by launching a new app developed with Comcast, enhancing discoverability and ease of use. 

Additionally, leveraging MultiChoice’s vast network and resources, including its DStv service, has been a strategic advantage.

Showmax’s ambitious target of 50 million subscribers and $1 billion in revenue over the next five years also poses significant challenges.

These include maintaining a competitive pricing strategy, navigating its partnership with Comcast, and continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the African market.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.