Showmax has taken the lead in Africa’s streaming market, surpassing Netflix, which previously held a 40% share.
Recent data from Omdia Research reveals that Netflix’s market dominance has dropped to 35%, while Showmax now commands 40% of the continent’s streaming market.
Showmax’s success is attributed to a 26% year-on-year growth in paid subscribers over the past four years, reaching 1.8 million subscribers.
The streaming service invested $1 billion in content production and acquisition in Africa for the financial year ending in 2023, emphasising local content.
Despite Netflix’s efforts in Africa since 2016, with a focus on licensing local content and producing originals, the streaming giant faces challenges in a market where broadband costs, unstable internet, and low income hinder growth.
Netflix’s subscriber base in Africa has grown by 1.2 million in the past four years, with South Africa being its largest market at 73.3%.
However, Netflix has concerns about subscriber stagnation in mature markets and has been actively pursuing international expansion. The platform experienced a 6.8% growth in African subscribers, generating over $135 million in revenue in 2022.
One obstacle to further growth is the low penetration of credit and debit cards in many regions, affecting payment methods for the streaming service, according to Omdia.