South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to streaming video services.
Netflix, Showmax, and Amazon Prime Video each offer thousands of great movies and series to South African viewers.
Aside from these big players, South Africans also have access to Apple TV+, Mubi, Crunchyroll, and Acorn TV.
There are also smaller local services available like Vodacom Video Play, Telkom ONE, and DEOD.
One noteworthy absence from the South African market is Disney+. There is still no legal way to watch shows like The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in South Africa.
With shows and films are scattered across the major platforms, many households choose not to pay for three or four streaming services every month.
Deciding which platforms to subscribe to will depend on where the shows and movies you want to watch are available, and the features that are important to you.
If you want to watch documentaries and other premium content in ultra high definition, then Netflix is the only game in town.
For streaming live football matches and 24-hour news channels like SABC News and Newzroom Afrika, you will have to subscribe to Showmax Pro.
Are you interested in streaming live football matches?
To decide which service best suits you, streaming search engine JustWatch provides a list of which shows and movies are available on a particular platform.
JustWatch also maintains a count of the number of titles available on a particular platform. The table below summarises the number of movies and TV shows on Netflix, Showmax, and Prime Video. The numbers were current as of the start of May 2021.
The following table summarises the pricing and basic features of the various Netflix, Showmax and Amazon Prime Video packages.
Showmax recently reduced the price of its mobile service by 20% — from R49 per month to R39 per month.
Prime Video is billed in US dollar, not rand, and includes a subscription to Amazon’ Prime Gaming service on Twitch.
|Streaming package comparison|
|Package||Max streaming quality||Simultaneous streams||Price|
|Prime Video||4K||3||R87 ($5.99)|
Live sports streaming — Showmax Pro
One area where MultiChoice is streets ahead in South Africa is sport, and it brought live sports streaming to Showmax in August last year with Showmax Pro.
Showmax Pro offers the ability to stream a selection of live sports, music, and news channels available on MultiChoice’s satellite broadcaster DStv.
This is in addition to the regular movies and TV shows available with a Showmax subscription.
Sports currently included with Showmax Pro are:
- Football (English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, and PSL)
- Marathon running and athletics
- Basketball, swimming, extreme sports, and esports
The following table summarises the pricing and features of Showmax Pro and Showmax Pro Mobile:
|Showmax Pro packages|
|Package||Max streaming quality||Simultaneous streams||Additional benefits||Price|
|Showmax Pro Mobile||SD||1||24-hour news channels, live sport||R225|
|Showmax Pro||HD||2||24-hour news channels, live sport||R449|