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Showmax surpasses Netflix, secures 40% market share in African streaming landscape

Showmax has emerged victorious in the fierce battle for dominance in Africa’s burgeoning streaming market, outpacing global giant Netflix with a commanding 40% market share, according to Omdia Research.

Showmax vs Netflix

This shift signals a significant transformation in the dynamics of the African streaming space, with Showmax strategically positioning itself as the preferred choice for viewers across the continent.

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Showmax’s achievement is not a stroke of luck but a result of deliberate efforts and investments. CEO Marc Jury revealed a remarkable 26% year-on-year surge in paid subscribers over the past four years, a testament to the platform’s appeal and growing popularity.

Showmax’s commitment to the African market is underscored by a strategic investment of $1 billion in content production and acquisition, focusing on bolstering its local content offerings.

Netflix, which entered the African market in 2016, is now grappling with increased competition from both local and global players. The streaming giant’s market share has slipped to 35%, reflecting the challenges it faces in retaining its subscriber base amid a landscape of evolving preferences and competition.

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The African streaming market, poised to grow annually by 10.4%, is becoming a battleground for various platforms eyeing a slice of Netflix’s slowing subscriber growth. Challenges such as high broadband costs, unreliable internet connectivity, and low incomes have impeded the rapid expansion of the streaming market in Africa.

Despite these challenges, Netflix recognizes the growth potential in the region. South Africa, currently Netflix’s largest market, comprising 73.3% of its subscriber base, continues to be a stronghold. The streaming giant has adopted a dual strategy, licensing local content like Nigeria’s “Black Book” and producing original content such as “The Origin: Madam Koi-Koi.” This strategy, spanning six years and incurring a cost of $175 million, has shown promise, with price reduction initiatives leading to a 6.8% increase in subscribers in certain markets.

As the streaming wars in Africa intensify, Showmax’s ascent and Netflix’s adaptive strategies underscore the dynamic nature of the industry.

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