Earlier today Showmax, the sister company to Multichoice, announced it has brought a new approach to the mobile video starting with Kenya where they have been experiencing low uptake of their service due to Netflix’s dominance.
Showmax has taken the approach of acting global but thinking local by partnering with Kenyan telecoms company Safaricom to launch a new concept that addresses the needs of Kenyan customers.
The new approach involves Showmax offering a two-tier service for watching TV shows and movies via the internet. By two-tier, it means they have introduced two separate packages, one a “premium package” and the other a “select package”.
The premium package offer subscribers the full Showmax experience with access to international and local content whereas the select package, which is optimised for low data consumption (75% savings claimed), gives subscribers access to purely local content and can be paid for via Kenya’s famous mobile money service M-Pesa (their version of EcoCash).
According to Showmax:
Subscribers can choose from a number of different download video quality levels. Using the most data-efficient setting, downloading a 20-minute TV show will use approximately 80 MB. This means that a 7.5 GB data bundle would be enough for more than 90 episodes.
With this statement, Showmax has released quite impressive but unconfirmed statistics. However, their new approach to cater for the entertainment appetite of Kenyan’s by providing local content and local payment methods all Kenyan’s understand and can make shows they are now ready to make great strides in the Kenyan market, and possibly if successful, run with the same concept across Africa.
Showmax added that:
…It doesn’t matter how good your service is if you don’t first solve the data challenge for customers, particularly for the majority of people who rely on mobile internet. That’s why we designed data-saving features and the ability to download content into ShowMax from the outset. With these features and a strong focus on local content, we think ShowMax will finally crack the internet TV model in Kenya…
No better words could describe the current state of mobile internet in Africa, it is just too expensive and no amount of good shows will lure in customers. Worse of in Zimbabwe with the 3rd most expensive data bundles in Africa!