Online streaming has taken over traditional cable TV worldwide. People can watch their preferred shows at any time convenient to them. The video streaming service industry was pioneered by Netflix.

Since the expansion of Netflix into the global market, there have been many streaming services that have come up. For this post, we will highlight the 2 biggest streaming services easily available to most (if not all) African countries.

1. Netflix

Netflix entered the African market in January 2016 spanning across all 54 African countries. This move proved that the media company was ready to incorporate more diverse viewers. Since then Netflix has been in touch with a number of African filmmakers and film stakeholders in a bid to produce high quality original African stories.

Lionheart, a Nigerian comedy film, was Netflix first Nollywood-made film. It made rounds in international film festivals. This proved that there was a need to expose high-quality African shows to the global market. With the success of Lionheart, Netflix rolled out a number of films including Queen Sono, the first Netflix original African series- based in South Africa.

Through Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix Head of African Original Programming., Netflix has partnered and is continuing to partner with creators on the ground to tell original African stories. So far they have produced & licensed films and documentaries from Northern, Western and Southern Africa like Catching Feelings (South Africa), Fifty (Nigeria), The Square (Egypt) and Blood and Water (South Africa)

Netflix has predominantly set up its production base in Nigeria and South Africa but will soon move to Kenya. Dorothy earlier on said that there was promise in Kenya but discussions are still in the early stages.

Netflix offers three streaming plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium, starting at $9 per month and ending at $16 per month. Furthermore, they initially offer a free 30-day trial to all their first-time viewers.

2. Showmax

Showmax is a product of Multichoice Group. The video streaming service launched in South Africa in 2015 and now spans across 44 African countries. It is a competitor to Netflix. However, it does boast of having a very wide catalogue of localized content, local payment options, platform modifications to cater to local needs and partnerships with local ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

The service includes a Kiswahili language section, Nollywood section, as well as an African Film section that encompasses classic and fresh African films. Some top-rated African films and shows on Showmax are Kina (Kenya), Halita (Nigeria), The River (South Africa) and Katikati (Kenya)

Showmax is the only streaming service that offers HBO shows within Africa. Some of the HBO shows offered within Showmax are Insecure, Chernobyl, Watchmen and Ballers.

Showmax has two packages: Showmax Standard and Showmax Mobile. They have different payment methods depending on your country of choice all described here.

From this post, there’s no doubting Netflix and Showmax have improved the quality of films in Africa at large. Including, the quantity of people accessing international entertainment.

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2 months ago

Appreciate the information, but I would argue that Netflix & showmax haven’t really improved the quality of films & shows in Africa. But they’re trying.

2 months ago

First off!!! Wow… I’m just here thinking.. Wow, this is quite some research
And wow😯 I haven’t watched this one yet (takes a screen shot) .. I’d say they have created a platform for marketing our films ….
There’s something I’m not getting what did you mean by improving the shows?
But they most definitely made access easy for everyone

Faith Njoki
Faith Njoki
1 month ago

That’s a nice piece Dun!Quite a research you did.