The streaming wars have begun in earnest. Hurray! First ShowMax and Telkom slipped between the covers together to offer subscribers to Telkom’s Summer Unlimited packages zero-rated data for streaming. Then Netflix showed up in South Africa with little to no warning. And now ShowMax, the Naspers-owned video streaming service, has teamed up with another company in the Naspers stable — internet service provider MWeb — to try and win market share in the scramble for video-streaming supremacy.
As always, though, it pays to read the fine print. You’ll need to commit to a 12-month contract with MWeb and ShowMax to take advantage of the deal, so after those first, three, free months you’ll be billed for each service for the remainder of the contract. You’ll also need to sign up before 31 March 2016.
What does that mean in cash terms? Well, say you sign up for MWeb’s 4Mbit/s uncapped ADSL service (R239/month) and factor in the ShowMax subscription (R99/month) and the ADSL line rental you’ll need to pay Telkom (R189/month) you’re looking at R527/month.
The deal applies to the bulk of MWeb’s ADSL products, with the exception of its 1GB, 2GB and 5GB capped offerings, and its uncapped 1Mbit/s service. This makes sense given streaming video would burn through the first three capped offerings faster than you could say Orange is the New Black, and the latter — while uncapped — would likely mean far too much of that bane of the digital age we call “buffering”.
You can bet there’ll be more partnerships and deals like this to follow in coming months. In the words of the title of a crummy Jennifer Love Hewitt film, we “can’t hardly wait”. Mmm, we do love the smell of competition in the morning — it smells like lower prices and more choice.
Price? Offline viewing options? Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s incredible chemistry in House of Cards? These are all things worth considering before you commit. So, if you’re not sure whether ShowMax or Netflix is a better fit for your particular viewing needs, take a look at our comparison of the services here.