Netflix does it, Amazon Prime Video does it, and now homegrown video-on-demand service Showmax does it, too. What is it? Why original content, of course, under the self-explanatory banner of Showmax Originals. It’s first production? A mockumentary series starring Julia Anastasopoulos of SuzelleDIY fame. The series will consist of eight, 20-minute episodes that’ll go live on Showmax in December.
Filming of the show, called Tali’s Wedding Diary, kicked off in Cape Town last week and follows Anastasopoulos’s character Tali, “a self-obsessed Sandton princess who’s moved to Cape Town and has hired a documentary crew to film the build-up to her wedding to her property-agent fiancé Darren”.
There’s no denying SuzelleDIY‘s local appeal. The 70+ videos in the series have garnered nearly 22 million views to date, but one has to wonder how well Tali’s exploits will fare in other markets where Showmax operates, like Poland, for example. It’s unclear whether the show will be offered in other markets at all.
Nonetheless, Showmax has to get on the in-house content wagon if it’s to compete with rival services, and doubly so if it’s to compete with them on a global stage… something it’s made clear it wants to do. To do that, it’s going to have to either create content that appeals to subscribers in multiple markets in which it operates… or it’s going to have to create small-scale, hyperlocal content for those markets. The latter might prove more feasible given the scale of the budgets Netflix and Amazon have to play with.
In addition to Tali’s Wedding Diary, Showmax says it’s also working with Mzansi Magic on a crime drama called iNumber Number, based on the 2013 movie of the same name.