Showmax is an internet-based video subscription service that offers on-demand movies and TV series in addition to some live streaming.
It is available across 45 African countries and territories. These are Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, and Equatorial Guinea. Others include 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 Africa, Showmax is available mostly in western European countries. These are 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.
Showmax is home to hundreds of movies and as of November 2020, carries over 1,550 of them. These include Hollywood titles like:
- Nymphomanic (2013)
- Aquaman (2018)
- The Aviator (2004)
- The Ghostwriter (2010)
- A Star is Born (2019)
- The Master (2012)
- No Strings Attached (2011)
- The Square (2017)
- Peppermint (2018)
- The Terminator (1984)
Showmax is also home to dozens of South African movies including popular ones like:
- Johnny is nie Dood nie (2016)
- Die Ontwaking (2016)
Shows / Series
Due to Multichoice’s strong international partnerships, Showmax has a lot of award-winning TV shows and series from HBO, BBC, ABC studios, nickelodeon, adult swim, boomerang, Cartoon Network and other international TV studios.
As of February 2020, it carries over 370 series. The popular TV shows available on Showmax include:
- Game of Thrones
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Sex and the City
- Mr Robot
- This Is Us
- The Young Pope
These are in addition to a lot of content from MNet, Africa Magic, kykNET and Mzanzi channels.
Showmax recently launched a free-tier of their service to residents of South Africa. Even better, it does not require registration, prior to enjoying the free content.
The free service is ad-supported. Multiple ads would be played in the course of enjoying the content.
The free tier is essentially a subset of the premium Showmax service. Some of the TV series available for free are only partial. To enjoy the full series, one would still need to subscribe.
The free content includes:
- Local (South African) drama
- Celebrity Reality shows
- Lifestyle and Reality shows
- Comedy Movies
- Drama Movies
It is available on both Android and iOS devices.
Priced from R225 per month, Showmax Pro is an ideal upgrade for sports lovers as it comes bundled with extra sporting events in addition to the regular tier. Subscribers in South Africa can enjoy content from SuperSport including:
- Premier League
- LaLiga Santander
- Serie A
- Diamond League
- Premier Soccer League (PSL)
- UEFA Champions League
Showmax Pro comes in 2 price plans: Showmax Pro Mobile and Showmax Pro. They both include series, movies, Showmax Originals, kids’ shows, live football, boxing, athletics, and other content from SuperSport. They can both be enjoyed on smartphones or tablets and users can download shows to watch offline on their mobile devices. Their pricing and primary differences are detailed below.
|Showmax Pro Mobile||Showmax Pro|
|Streaming quality||Standard Definition (SD)||High Definition (HD)|
|Simultaneous streams||1 stream||2 streams|
|Registered devices||1 device||Up to 5 devices|
|Watch on Smart TV or computer||Not available. Smartphone only.||Available|
|Pricing||R225 per month||R449 per month|
Showmax does offer live streaming of select programming from time to time. In the past, it has offered live streams of major sporting events like the African Cup of Nations matches or Rugby tournaments. These are in addition to Big Brother Nigeria.
The live streams are typically archived and available to stream on-demand.
During the nationwide lockdown in March/April 2020, some 9 mostly news channels were available on Showmax in South Africa at no extra cost to their existing subscribers.
The live TV channels offered were:
- Mindset: an educational channel targeted the younger segment of the population
- SABC News: the news arm of SABC, the national broadcaster
- CNN International: an American-owned global news network
- Sky News: a British news service
- BBC World News: the global news arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation
- Newzroom Afrika: a South African news and current affairs channel
- AlJazeera English: a Qatar-based global news network
- Euronews: a pan-European news channel
- Africanews: a Pan-African news channel owned by same promoters behind euronews
The Showmax is available as a monthly subscription after a 14-day trial period and pricing varies by country. Pricing is available in different currencies. Example:
Pricing from R49
Cheque and Credit Cards, Pre-Paid Showmax Voucher, Add-to-Bill (DStv, Vodacom, Telkom, Mweb, MTN) and PayPal
Pricing from N2,900
Credit and Debit cards, PayPal
Pricing @ $7.99
Credit or Debit cards, PayPal
It is a service of Multichoice (operators of DStv) and is available to all African countries served by DStv. While it is also offered as a stand-alone service, it shares a lot of synergy with DStv.
- Billing: You can link your Showmax account to your DStv account and pay nothing if you are a Premium package subscriber or pay for Showmax through your DStv account for other packages.
- Content: While there is exclusive Showmax content, most of the content is programming that had already been broadcast on DStv channels.
Showmax can be enjoyed across TVs, smartphones or tablets through their native apps across various app stores.
It is available on select LG or Samsung Smart TVs or you can connect a streaming media device to your TV. These devices are DStv Explora, Xbox One, Apple TV or Google Chromecast.
Smartphone or Tablet
It is available on Apple’s App Store for iOS devices like iPhones and iPads in addition to Google’s Play Store for Android smartphones and tablets.
For these mobile devices, you can stream on two devices at once or download up to 25 shows on each device to watch when offline.
You can stream from Showmax using any modern web browser without any apps or plugin being a requirement.
When one considers the galaxy of South African, Nigerian and other African content available on Showmax, it is easily the best for enjoying local African premium content.
If you are used to global streaming apps like Netflix, do not expect the same user experience.
This varies by country. Pricing starts from R49 in South Africa or N2,900 in Nigeria. If you are a DStv subscriber, you can even get Showmax for free.
If you are a DStv Premium subscriber, Yes. Else, you’d need to pay for this service.
This varies from one month to the other but as of February 2020, the service carries over 1,000 movies and TV series.
R49 per month.
Not necessarily. While it is better to enjoy the service over WiFi, it would work just fine over a cellular network. More so, you can adjust the streaming quality – in other to save on data costs where you are not on an unlimited data plan.
This would depend on how much content you enjoy over the service. You can configure the streaming quality in other to use less data but be aware that the experience on lower-stream qualities may not always be best.
You can easily install the Showmax TV app on recent LG or Samsung smart TVs or make use of other devices like DStv Explora, Xbox One, Apple TV or Google Chromecast.