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Showmax faces tough competition in Nigeria

Showmax faces tough competition in Nigeria

About four years after it launched in South Africa, online streaming service Showmax has expanded to Nigeria where it is set to compete with the likes of Netflix and iROKO.

While DStv has dominated the pay TV industry in the West African country, experts told ITWeb Africa that Showmax will have to compete with Netflix, Amazon and several others that are already providing exclusive content.

These include Shugaban and Scene One TV. The country's biggest cinema franchise, Film House also has an app that enables users to stream movies.

Showmax is offering a 14-day free trial and industry analysts described its NGN2900 (about US$8) monthly cost as 13% more expensive than what the service is charging in South Africa - which is also slightly higher than Netflix's basic plan available in Nigeria which can be used on five different devices.

"In the end, Showmax will be another streaming service available in Nigeria. But for it to stand out, it has to have top quality movies that Nigerians want and at a price that everyone can afford," said Lagos-based tech analyst Solomon Ilori.

IIori added that partnering with key stakeholders could be a way for Showmax to gain appreciable market share in Nigeria within a short period.

To support its expansion, Showmax has announced content from the Big Brother Naija reality show and has enlisted local comedians Basketmouth and Bovi to provide original content.

Niclas Ekdahl, chief executive officer of MultiChoice Group's Connected Video division, said: "We're aiming for the sweet spot that other services may have missed. Taking a generic service and tacking on a few Nollywood movies won't cut it, so we're coming in with a strong mix of bang up-to-date Nigerian shows, international hits and favourites from across Africa, and now, as something completely new - on-demand and live Big Brother Naija content."

In September 2017, ITWeb Africa reported a merger between Showmax Africa with DStv Digital Media, a move which Naspers took in order to create greater synergy.

In April 2019, Showmax entered into a partnership with Safaricom in Kenya, whereby the telco's 200,000-plus FTTH users could receive a one-month free subscription to Showmax.

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