Great news folks! ShowMax has launched in South Africa. The continued roll-out of high-speed internet connectivity worldwide is driving a change in viewing habits worldwide. In addition to watching scheduled television, people are increasingsly consuming movies and series via a range of video on demand services.
These services are primarily differentiated by the size and quality of their catalogue, and until now the options available in South Africa have been limited in comparison to those available overseas. Yesterday, ShowMax launched a new video on demand service that is a giant leap forward in the range of content available to local consumers.
ShowMax has content adding up to more than a year’s continuous viewing of series, movies, documentaries, a wide selection of children’s shows, and an array of classics. Complete box sets of heavyweight series such as Entourage, Game of Thrones and The Wire form the foundation of the service, and ShowMax brings new shows such as The Late Late Show with James Corden to the South African audience. The content catalogue (which totals more than 10,000 hours) spans major production studios from across the globe as well as local African content. This brings ShowMax customers two unique benefits: a library many multiples larger than those currently available via local services and also African content not available via services originating outside the continent.
John Kotsaftis, General Manager of ShowMax South Africa said: “We’re unashamedly ambitious in what we’re aiming to achieve with ShowMax. The ongoing change in viewing habits has given us the opportunity to build a video on demand powerhouse to feed the marathon viewing trend. We’ve got all the best content from Hollywood and beyond, but at the same time we also have the local content that consumers here expect. Importantly, we’re bringing this in at an attractive price, and doing this across more devices than ever before. We’re aiming to change the game. ShowMax won’t just be the best subscription video on demand service available in South Africa – we’re competing with the best in the world.”
ShowMax is available via a wide range of smart devices with an Internet connection. This includes mobile phones and tablets via iOS and Android apps, laptop and desktop computers using a range of web browsers, and Samsung and LG smart TVs.
I have tested ShowMax on my PC at home on a 4 Mb Afrihost connection. I have to say that the variety is good. There’s tons of South African content. The amount of Hollywood produced TV series is not bad either. There are currently only +/- 400 movies on ShowMax (a lot less that are available on Netflix / Hulu), but I’m pretty sure that number will be increased as it grows. ShowMax has HBO shows on their catalogue (something that Netflix / Hulu don’t have on their library – you need an HBO Go subscription to watch them).
It might just be my connection, but the streaming isn’t 100% flawless. It buffered now and then and the picture isn’t the clearest, but it’s bearable. Another issue I have is that if you refresh the tab in which the episode is playing or play the same episode you were watching, it doesn’t resume the episode where you stopped watching it, it starts playing it from the beginning again. The show / movie descriptions on the catalogue also need attention – they’re way too basic. ShowMax is not bad, but there’s definitely room for overall improvement if you ask me.
ShowMax is offering a seven-day trial period, with free access to the entire library in order to test the service. The ongoing cost of subscription is R99 per month, which allows access via five different devices. Two different video streams may be watched simultaneously on separate devices using the single monthly subscription. More information is available via www.showmax.com.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music and Movies categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.