Photograph — Showmax

South Africa-based entertainment platform, Showmax, has introduced a new video-on-demand service in Nigeria. This is said to be the first time a wide range of popular Nigerian series can be binged from the beginning.

Priced at over $8 per month (NGN 2,900), the video streaming service features a dedicated slate of Nigerian TV shows and movies, international hit series, and Hollywood blockbusters. However, Showmax offers a 14-day free trial under which viewers can cancel within the first fourteen days and pay nothing.

The new service is part of the localization strategy of Multichoice Group (owners of Showmax) to take on established video-on-demand competitors with a focus on local content.

“We’re aiming for the sweet spot that other services may have missed. Taking a generic service and tacking on a few Nollywood movies won’t cut it, so we’re coming in with a strong mix of bang-up-to-date Nigerian shows, international hits and favorites from across Africa,” CEO of MultiChoice Group’s Connected Video division, Niclas Ekdahl, said.

Several Nigerian television shows and films will be added as they air on Africa Magic channels, with all past episodes available to binge from the beginning. These include Tinsel, The Johnsons, My Flatmates, etc. It has also secured a partnership to live-stream the Big Brother Naija and exclusive new BBNaija shows.

In total, the new Showmax service aims to feature hundreds of Nollywood movies and thousands of TV show episodes. Bollywood shows and telenovelas will also be part of the lineup, as will hits from the rest of Africa, a myriad of international shows and kids’ programs.

While Nigeria has a large market for both local and foreign entertainment industry, Showmax’s new service further intensifies the already competitive market where several subscription video providers compete for consumer attention.

With its wide variety of local and international shows as well as other consumer-friendly and interesting features, it could gain a substantial market share alongside an established rival, Netflix. Moreover, TV pundits expect the platform to go ahead of several local digital TV players (such as iFlix, Afrinolly, Iroko TV, Ibaka) and perceive Showmax as Africa’s answer to Netflix.


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