Showmax sees potential for growth
The World Economic Forum (WEF) believes that broadband has the potential to be an enabler for reducing poverty, improving education, promoting gender equality, improving health services, ensuring environmental sustainability and providing a platform for global partnerships for development.
By some estimates, a 10% increase in broadband penetration in low- and middle-income countries can result in a 1.38% increase in economic growth, according to the forum. It is therefore no surprise that streaming service Showmax is positive of its growth prospects, so much so, it expects to see good growth across the continent.The Economist recently spoke to its Head of Communications, Richard Boorman to get his views on Showmax and its growth. Boorman said, “the launch of Netflix in Africa which happened roughly five months after the launch of ShowMax, has been a benefit to us. One of the biggest challenges we’re finding is helping people understand what internet TV is, how it works and why they’d want it. The added publicity from the launch of Netflix actually drove more people to our site and we saw an increase in customer numbers”.
Added Boorman, “Broadly, we see huge growth potential across Africa on the back of the rapid rollout of faster mobile connectivity, the rapid take-up of low-cost smartphones and tablets, greater access to WiFi, and the roll-out of FTTH services”.
Boorman was not at liberty to disclose subscription figures. He also lightly touched on the issue of content stating that Showmax was considering producing its own content. “It’s on our radar, but no specific plans at this stage.
The Economist also spoke to local television fundi, Madryn Cosburn who heads local television station, One Africa. Sharing his thoughts on the future of streaming services. Cosburn said, “Globally, there has been an upward trend in the revenues generated by Pay TV services, indicating that demand is increasing for high quality programming, despite the proliferation of Over-The-Top and Video-On-Demand services. High Definition Television is a major driver in retaining pay TV subscribers, and the absence of buffering typical with streaming services makes satellite TV and Digital-Terrestrial-Television a more attractive service in areas with slow internet connections, if affordable. This, combined with PVR and CatchUp technologies, provides subscribers with convenient and reliable access to television without the additional cost of internet data”.
Both Netflix and Showmax are available to viewers in Namibia.