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Showmax logo.svg
Type of site
Video on demand
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersSouth Africa
Area servedAndorra, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Reunion, Rwanda, Saint Helena, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe[1]
ParentMultiChoice Group
Launched19 August 2015; 5 years ago (2015-08-19)
Current statusActive

Showmax is an online subscription video on demand (SVOD) service which launched[2] in South Africa on 19 August 2015.[3]

Showmax is employing a localisation strategy[4] to take on established video on demand competitors with a focus on local content[5] and partnerships with mobile telcos.[6]

In South Africa, Showmax competes with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.[7]

Showmax is a part of MultiChoice Group (which itself is a spin-off of Naspers).[8][9] Showmax's engineering team is based in the Czech Republic.[10] Showmax publishes engineering and research articles on a technical blog.[11]

Showmax offers consumers a free 14-day trial.


In December 2015, Showmax expanded its reach to audiences in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Canada.[12]

In May 2016, Showmax expanded to 36 countries in Africa, taking the total number of countries in which Showmax is available to 65.[13]

In July 2016, Showmax passed the 10 million views milestone.[14]

In August 2016, the Showmax logo was changed from framed black and white logotype using camel case to an all lower-case logotype with added dark magenta and teal stripes.[15]

In October 2016, Showmax launched Showmax Select and Showmax Premium in Kenya.[16]

In January 2017, Showmax partnered with SEACOM to put caching servers in Nairobi, Kenya.[17]

In February 2017, Showmax launched in Poland.[18]

In December 2017, Saturday Night Live Polska launched.[19]

On 31 January 2019, Showmax was closed in Poland.[20]

On 7 July 2020, Showmax launches Showmax Pro in Kenya and Nigeria. The new service bundles the existing Showmax entertainment service with music channels, news, and live sport streaming from SuperSport. The offering includes all the games from the UK's Premier League, Italy's Serie A and La Liga, and South Africa's Premier Soccer League.[21]



Showmax's download feature allows users to download up to 25 shows or movies at a time and watch them offline on Android[22] and iOS[23] tablets and smartphones. There are four different quality settings to reduce the amount of data required to download.

Bandwidth capping[edit]

In August 2016, Showmax launched a bandwidth-capping tool that allows users to choose different quality levels. Subscribers can select either a low bandwidth cap of 0.3 GB/hr, a medium cap of 0.7 GB/hr, or leave usage uncapped.[24]

Multiple profiles[edit]

In August 2016, Showmax added a multiple profile feature including the ability to set up child-friendly profiles[25] with four age settings.

Mobile plan[edit]

In October 2019, Showmax introduced a mobile plan at 50% of the cost of the standard subscription price.[26] According to Showmax,[27] "Smartphones and tablets are, for many in Africa, the primary, if not only, window to the internet, and up until now none of the most popular SVoD services has designed a product specifically for mobile usage."

Showmax Pro[edit]

In July 2020, Showmax launched live sport streaming service Showmax Pro and began roll out across 40 countries in Africa. In June 2019, Showmax began testing sport live-streaming, and the new Showmax Pro service is based on the results of this. In addition to the standard version of Showmax Pro there will also be a mobile-only version at half the price.[28]

Device support[29][edit]

This is a list of supported devices:

  • Personal Computers (using web browsers)
  • Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 9.3 or higher
  • Apple TV (4th Generation)
  • Android phones and tablets running Android 4.1 or higher
  • Android media and TV devices running Android 4.1 or higher
  • Samsung Smart TVs (2012 and later)
  • Samsung Tizen Smart TVs (2015 and later)
  • LG NetCast Smart TVs (2012 to 2014)
  • LG WebOS Smart TVs (2014 and later)
  • Hisense Vidaalite 2.0, Vidaa U2 Smart TVs (2016 and later, Africa only)
  • DStv Explora (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria only)
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Google Cast (casting from the Showmax app for Android or iOS)
  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation 4 (South Africa only)

Showmax is available in the following countries:[1][edit]

In Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Outside of Africa: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom


In Africa the Showmax catalogue consists of Hollywood, British, Kenyan and South African content. Outside of Africa the Showmax catalogue consists of Showmax Originals, kykNET International, M-Net, Mzansi Magic, and Via content targeted primarily at an expat audience.

It has premium kids entertainment provided by The Walt Disney Company Africa, ViacomCBS Networks EMEAA, BBC Africa, Warner Bros. Africa and more.

Exclusive HBO content fresh from the United States.

Showmax has content in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Kiswahili, Sepedi, SeTswana, Sesotho and isiXhosa.

Showmax Originals[edit]

Tali's Wedding Diary[edit]

On 13 June 2017, Showmax announced that filming of its first original series Tali's Wedding Diary, a mockumentary featuring Julia Anastasopoulos, had begun.[30][31][32] On 16 November 2017, Showmax released a trailer for Tali's Wedding Diary.[33] It was announced that it would be available on Showmax on 14 December 2017.[34][35][36]

The Girl From St Agnes[edit]

Showmax's first original drama series, The Girl From St Agnes was released on 31 January 2019.[37] In the eight-part murder mystery, the mysterious death of a schoolgirl at an elite boarding school sets off a desperate hunt for the truth.[38] The series was filmed on location in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.[39]

Trippin with Skhumba[edit]

In February 2019, Showmax announced its first original travel show, Trippin with Skhumba,[40] hosted by South African comedian Skhumba Hlope. The theme music used for the series is the hit record "Spirit" by Kwesta.[41] The series launched on 28 February. Guests on the first season include South African comedians such as Celeste Ntuli,[42][43] Siya Seya,[44] Salesman,[45] Mashabela Galane,[46] Tumi Morake[47][48] and Schalk Bezuidenhout.[49][50]

Somizi & Mohale: The Union[edit]

In February 2020, Showmax premiered Somizi & Mohale: The Union. The four-part wedding special featuring Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung broke viewing records on Showmax.[51]


In March 2020, Showmax launched its first original horror movie.[52] In Rage, a group of school-leavers goes to a tiny coastal town to celebrate the end of their school careers.

Life With Kelly[edit]

In August 2020, Showmax premiered reality show Life With Kelly,[53] starring award-winning South African singer Kelly Khumalo.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Introduction". Showmax. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lautenbach, Kyle (21 August 2015). "Showmax officially launched in South Africa, here are the details". IGN Africa.
  4. ^ Wexler, Alexandra (24 December 2016). "In Africa, a Homegrown Rival Takes on Netflix". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  5. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (14 December 2016). "Africa Offers Big Potential for Streaming Video". Variety. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Showmax seeking new telco partnerships". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  7. ^ Henderson, Roxanne. "Amazon Prime Video now available in South Africa". Times LIVE. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Shapshak, Toby. "How Soviet-Era Improvisation Helped Make Video Streaming Better in Africa". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "kykNET goes global on-demand on Showmax". Channel. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  13. ^ Shapshak, Toby. "Netflix Competitor Showmax Launches into 36 African Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ Hlongwane, Sefiso. "Impressive! ShowMax garners over 10 million views in less than a year". Times LIVE. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ "ShowMax changes logo, hits 10 millions views". Channel. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  16. ^ Shapshak, Toby. "ShowMax Goes Mobile in Kenya". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  17. ^ "ShowMax servers now in Kenya". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  18. ^ Shapshak, Toby. "African Internet Giant Naspers Launches Streaming Service in Poland". Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  19. ^ ""Saturday Night Live". Aktorzy zapowiadają polską edycję amerykańskiego show! [WIDEO+ZDJĘCIA] -". (in Polish). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Showmax wychodzi z Polski. Platforma będzie dostępna tylko do końca stycznia - WP Teleshow". (in Polish). Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  21. ^ Shapshak, Toby. "Africa's Biggest TV Operator Launches Streaming Soccer Service, Showmax Pro". Forbes. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  22. ^ "ShowMax offers offline viewing on Android". Fin24. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  23. ^ "ShowMax "download now, watch later" feature on iPhone and iPad". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  24. ^ "New Showmax tool promises 75% data savings". Fin24. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  25. ^ Fripp, Charlie (4 August 2016). "ShowMax now has profiles to protect kids from adult content". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  26. ^ "What's the difference between the Mobile Only and Standard plans on Showmax?". Showmax Stories. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Showmax launches new plan aimed at increasing Africa's access to Video on Demand". Showmax Stories. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Showmax launches new live-streaming service". Showmax Stories. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Introduction". Showmax. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Chutel, Lynsey; Chutel, Lynsey. "An original teen drama shows streaming service Showmax is ready to grow up". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  38. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (4 February 2020). "The Girl From St Agnes: Hard to watch but impossible to stop". The South African.
  39. ^ "Filming wraps on Showmax's first original drama, 'The Girl From St Agnes' | IOL Entertainment". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  40. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (6 February 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: Get ready for Showmax's first Original travel show". The South African.
  41. ^ "Showmax's first original travel show is a joke - and there's a good reason why!". Channel. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  42. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (9 April 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli". The South African.
  43. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (21 March 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: What you need to know about Celeste Ntuli". The South African.
  44. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (7 March 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: What you need to know about Siya Seya". The South African.
  45. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (28 March 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: What you need to know about Salesman". The South African.
  46. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (27 February 2020). "What you need to know about Mashabela Galane ahead of Trippin' With Skhumba's premiere". The South African.
  47. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (11 April 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: In conversation with Tumi Morake". The South African.
  48. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (4 April 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: What you need to know about Tumi Morake". The South African.
  49. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (16 April 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: In conversation with Schalk Bezuidenhout". The South African.
  50. ^ Kahla, Cheryl (14 March 2020). "Trippin' With Skhumba: What you need to know about Schalk Bezuidenhout". The South African.
  51. ^ "Somizi and Mohale's 'The Union' breaks viewing records on Showmax". The South African. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  52. ^ "'Rage', Showmax's first original horror movie tells a gripping story". Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  53. ^ "Life With Kelly Khumalo". Showmax Stories. Retrieved 6 August 2020.