Netflix is popular, but is not without competition in South Africa. This is especially true when it comes to quality local content.
While MultiChoice’s DStv and Showmax offer a wider selection of locally-produced titles in a variety of languages, industry sources have told MyBroadband that Netflix has increased its focus on local content and the distribution of original South African shows.
The streaming service is currently hiring local talent and working to deliver more high-quality, original South African shows to its platform.
This approach could greatly increase Netflix’s attractiveness to fans of locally-produced content.
Taking on Showmax
The variety of local content on Showmax is impressive thanks to MultiChoice’s investment in the production of South African series and movies.
Netflix recently made its first move into the local content market with an original series launch in March 2019, titled Shadow.
Shadow follows the story of a Johannesburg cop with an inability to feel pain, and comprises a completely South African cast and production team.
Netflix has also acquired a South African series named “Blood & Water”, which is set to start production later in 2019 and launch on the platform next year, Variety reports.
Speaking about the upcoming series to Variety, Netflix vice president of international originals for Europe, Turkey, and Africa Kelly Luegenbiehl said the show is expected to appeal to South Africans as well as viewers across the globe.
“Great stories are universal, so we expect this gripping teen drama, with its view on contemporary high school life, to appeal to young adults from South Africa, as well as the rest of the world.” Luegenbiehl said.
Another South African Original being produced for Netflix is Queen Sono, which features local actress Pearl Thusi playing a highly-trained top spy in a South African agency.
Comment from Netflix
MyBroadband reached out to Netflix for comment on its local content drive, but the streaming service said it would only provide information on new projects later this year.
The company previously told MyBroadband that while there is an increasing amount of local content on offer, this will not affect the influx of international content.
“We continuously work on bringing joy and providing a more localised service for our members in South Africa,” Netflix said.
“However, the international and Netflix original content will not be affected.”