ShowMax, the video on Demand (VOD) service owned by Africa’s media giant Naspers (which also owns DStv’s parent MultiChoice) has announced that it is launching its service in Europe starting with Poland.
The service will be branded as ShowMax and will use the current ShowMax platform together with Polish language apps.
This extends ShowMax’s reach to a totally new region (it launched in 36 new countries, including Zimbabwe, in 2016) and also positions it as a multi-continental VOD service which is betting heavily on the prospect of increased coverage through geographic expansion.
ShowMax Poland will be headed by Maciej Sojka, a former Google executive who ran YouTube partnerships for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
To ensure that ShowMax makes a dent in Poland, it will be focusing on shows relevant to the country. According to ShowMax, the content has been tailored specifically for Poland with a strong focus on local TV shows and movies.
The ShowMax team has highlighted how Poland has an active TV and film production industry which ShowMax has tapped into through exclusive rights to popular local shows and the most sought after movies. there also plans for acquiring more original productions.
So far, all this local content has been distributed through pirate sites that even charge Polish viewers a premium to access it. through its platform, ShowMax is trying to service this market.
For VOD players, especially the ambitious kind like ShowMax, a geographic stretch appears to be a must-have in the growth timeline.
Getting more customers or users has no-brainer benefits and one advantage of internet based services like VOD is the ability to enter new spaces with fewer barriers.
Netflix, arguably the most popular internet TV service led the way in early 2016 when it opened up its service to most of the world.
Other well-heeled contenders like Amazon Prime Video also opened up their platforms to a global audience.
ShowMax, which is markedly smaller than these two appears to be extending its own global presence albeit with a more tentative approach that is focused on local content.