The best digital subscription services to buy as Christmas gifts

2019 has seen various new subscription services competing for their share of the market.

This ultimately benefits the end-user, who now has more options to choose from.

Whatever your preferred form of media consumption is – there is probably a subscription service out there for you.

Here are some of the best subscription services on the market that you can gift to your friends and family.


Perhaps the best-known digital subscription service of them all, Netflix truly popularised the video subscription service model.

Offering a seemingly endless list of movies and series, Netflix is still the most popular video subscription service today.

Netflix is available in three plans – Basic, Standard, and Premium.

  • Basic – 1 screen at a time, Standard Definition quality – R99 per month
  • Standard – 2 screens at a time, High Definition quality – R139 per month
  • Premium – 4 screens at a time, Ultra High Definition quality – R169 per month

Netflix logo


Showmax is MultiChoice’s answer to Netflix and offers a variety of high-quality shows not available on Netflix – including local originals.

Additionally, DStv Compact or Compact Plus subscribers can get a 50% discount on their Showmax subscription, while the service is free to DStv Premium subscribers.

There are also special Vodacom data bundles dedicated specifically to watching Showmax – such as 1GB for just R50.

  • Showmax price – R99 per month
  • Price for DStv Compact or Compact Plus subscribers – R49 per month
  • Price for DStv Premium subscribers – Free

Showmax logo dark


Video Play

Vodacom’s streaming service continues to collect an impressive range of local and international shows and movies to offer subscribers.

Some popular shows available on Video Play include The Bold and the Beautiful, Isidingo, The Lion King, the Fast and the Furious, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War.

  • Video Play pricing – From R5 per day


Spotify is the best-known name in music streaming subscription services by a comfortable distance.

Spotify offers a variety of popular songs across almost endless genres – if a song has played on radio, it is probably available on Spotify.

A free version of Spotify is available, but this version includes adverts and limits the number of song skips a user may use.

  • Spotify Premium – R59.99 per month

Spotify logo

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube is a huge platform, which feeds into their music subscription service offering a vast array of music.

One of the benefits of YouTube Music Premium is that any music on the video platform is also available on its music streaming service – meaning users can access a lot of lesser-known and self-published music.

YouTube Premium also offers users ad-free viewing of YouTube’s video platform for an additional R12 per month, which is another extremely tempting proposition.

  • YouTube Music Premium – R59.99 per month
  • YouTube Premium – R71.99 per month
  • YouTube Music Family Plan – R89.99 per month
  • YouTube Music Premium Family Plan – R109.99 per month

YouTube Music

Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft offers a highly compelling gaming subscription service which allows users to pay a monthly fee and access a wide variety of popular games.

While Xbox Game Pass was originally created for the Xbox One console, it is now also available on PC.

There is also an option to access both the Xbox One and PC libraries of games.

  • Xbox Game Pass for PC – R69 per month
  • Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One – R159 per month
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (PC and Xbox One) – R199 per month

Xbox Game Pass header

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The best digital subscription services to buy as Christmas gifts