Naspers will shut down its Showmax video streaming service in Poland on 31 January 2019, which raised questions about the company’s sustainability.
Showmax first expanded to Europe in February 2017 by adding Poland to its list of markets. Former Google executive Maciej Sojka was leading the operation.
Although Showmax gained traction in Poland, Naspers said it will no longer be a good strategic fit for the company after MultiChoice Group has been unbundled from Naspers.
Closing Showmax Poland shows that the service was likely not profitable, which has raised concerns about Showmax’s future in South Africa and other regions.
Good in SA
MultiChoice Connected Video spokesperson Richard Boorman told MyBroadband that the decision to shut down Showmax Poland does not impact the future of Showmax, however.
He explained that Showmax Poland was separated from Showmax Africa when they created MultiChoice Connected Video in late 2017.
Even with Showmax Poland ending operations, the Showmax development team in the Czech Republic – which is responsible for the Showmax tech stack – remains in place.
The Showmax platform also has different content layers sitting on top of it for different regions.
- One for Poland.
- One for Africa (which is regionally subdivided).
- One for the diaspora service available in countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, and Canada.
“In essence, the only change from here will be the closure of the Showmax Poland business,” Boorman said.
He added that the various Showmax services in Africa will continue to run as before, as will the diaspora service – both managed by MultiChoice’s Connected Video.
The positive news from Showmax comes as streaming platforms gain popularity internationally, taking traditional pay-TV users away from their existing services.
In developed markets like the US, pay-TV users are leaving their providers in droves to sign up for Netflix and Showmax.