It’s been three years since Showmax first launched in South Africa. Here’s a look at some of the biggest changes, from Originals to apps.Showmax is the longest-running streaming service in South Africa. Since it first launched in 2015, a number of early streaming competitors, like VIDI and OnTapTV, have fallen by the wayside while even more players have joined the fray including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Cell C’s Black.
Showmax has quietly been making significant changes over the years, both to the product as well as the content line-up. For early adopters, who may have tried the service when it launched but haven’t been back, here are a few reasons to give Showmax another try in 2018.
Exclusive content from Hulu and HBO
The most popular shows from Hulu and HBO, shows like The Night Of, Silicon Valley, Westworld, Big Little Lies, Harlots, The Handmaid’s Tale, and the big one: Game of Thrones, are only available to stream on Showmax in South Africa.
There are several reasons for this, including the fact that Hulu and HBO are direct competitors with Netflix in other parts of the world, meaning that their original content will never appear on big red’s streaming service. Showmax has more than 20 HBO titles currently available to binge-watch.
Launch of express from the US shows
South Africans often have to wait quite some time before the newest shows arrive on their shores. Showmax has launched a number of series in South Africa, within 24 hours after broadcasting in the US. Shows include Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Mr Robot (S3), The Crossing, Younger and South Park (S21).
Express content is not limited to the best of American television though, several notable South African shows have made the jump from TV broadcast to streaming availability within hours of their first showing – even faster than the American shows do, because the folks behind The River and Die Waterfront speak our language.
Series you can only find on Showmax
Even for shows that don’t make the leap across the ocean, there are still plenty of shows that are first and only on Showmax. The home-grown streaming service has been working to make sure that it’s got pole position when it comes to offerings such as Siren, Younger, The Young Pope, Taboo as well as HBO’s The Deuce and Animals, to name just a few.
Showmax has a growing list of shows that will appear first and only on the service, and is ramping up its slate for high quality never-been-seen-before shows.
All about that Original Content
Showmax launched its first Original in December 2017, the mockumentary Tali’s Wedding Diary, which was popular on the platform.
How popular? Tali’s Wedding Diary managed to outperform the first day of the most recent season of Game of Thrones (in South Africa) at launch. And Tali was just the start – expect more locally brewed original shows in the near future.
Where can I watch Showmax?
Showmax might have started out with relatively limited device support but a lot has changed since 2015. Watching on a web browser (when the boss isn’t looking) is still a thing, as is watching on Android and iOS devices, but you’re no longer limited to these.
There are device-specific apps for Samsung, LG and Hisense smart TVs, as well as more generic Android-based smart TV OSes. Gamer? The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 both have Showmax apps, and it’s possible to play to devices using Apple AirPlay and Google Cast. Get a full rundown of supported TV and mobile device operating systems here.
For DStv customers, an added bonus is Showmax is accessible via connected Exploras – no additional hardware required.
Local deals with South African providers
Showmax doesn’t cost much (just R99 per month) and there’s a free trial to test-drive the service before committing. The price has not changed since the service launched and DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax for free. DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers get Showmax for just R49 a month. Look out for data deals like the Vodacom Entertainment ticket and the Telkom LIT package which offer better prices on data for streaming.