Showmax shows strong growth — paying subscribers up 26%

The MultiChoice Group’s latest annual results indicated strong growth in Showmax subscriber numbers.

The company says it observed year-on-year growth of 26% in its streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) service between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.

However, it did not disclose the actual figure.

“Users of the group’s DStv app and Showmax services continue to grow as online consumption increases,” said MultiChoice.

“The overall online user base increased by 12% YoY, with the growth rate for paying Showmax subscribers at a strong 26%.”

The company added that its strategy of “further localizing its business” by focusing on local content, payment channels, and partners had contributed to this growth by enabling local billing in various markets.

Regarding local content, MultiChoice described itself as leading “in local content and sport”, with approximately 76,000 hours of local content in its library.

The group said the FIFA World Cup, which ShowMax Pro and SuperSport broadcast in 4K, came with a significant increase in the number of concurrent viewers watching live events.

“Showmax Pro, which includes live sport, enjoyed strong growth and doubled its subscriber base,” it said.

“This was supported by the broadcast of properties such as English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Premier Soccer League in SA and the FIFA World Cup.”

The MultiChoice Group said its decision to drop the price of its Showmax Pro subscription from R449 to R349 per month had further contributed to its subscriber growth.

MultiChoice’s big streaming video deal

In March 2023, MultiChoice announced an agreement with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky that will see the company sell a 30% stake in Showmax.

In its latest results, the group said the partnership would give Showmax the support of Peacock’s scalable platform while bringing more international and local content to viewers in Africa.

“The partnership with Comcast (owners of NBCU, Sky and Peacock), announced in March 2023, represents a significant step-up for the group’s future OTT ambitions,” it said.

“The new Showmax business will bring the world’s best local and international content to Africa and will be supported by Peacock’s scalable and feature-rich technology platform.”

“The transaction successfully closed on 4 April 2023 with MCG now owning 70% of the new Showmax group and NBCU owning the remaining 30%,” added MultiChoice.

It said new products and launch dates resulting from the partnership would be announced in due course.

Showmax will switch to NBC’s Peacock online streaming platform.

The new platform is expected to go live during the second half of the current financial year — between September 2023 and 31 March 2024.

Now read: Disney+ price hikes in South Africa

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Showmax shows strong growth — paying subscribers up 26%