Internet TV service Expands Across Sub-Saharan Africa

By Irene Gaitirira
Published May 16, 2016

Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer,ShowMaxA United Arab Emirates company has expanded its internet TV service launched in August 2015 across 36 sub-Saharan African countries.

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The company, ShowMax, now supplies subscription video-on-demand (VoD) services to 65 countries worldwide; the African countries served including Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Reunion, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The sub-Saharan service costs US$7.99 per month for unlimited viewing. The catalogue includes TV show episodes and movies, has a Kiswahili and Nollywood sections, and an African Film section that pulls together classic movies from across the continent.

Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer for ShowMax, says, “We’ve been busy testing the service in key locations across the continent and optimising our delivery network. We’ve adapted our apps to address the needs of consumers in Africa, introducing features like downloads for viewing TV shows and movies when not connected.”

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Projected growth of Internet TV across the worldShowMax says its product features address connectivity constraints, including:

  • Adaptive bitrate streaming that monitors connection speeds and automatically adjusts video stream resolution to avoid buffering
  • Download functionality to save up to 25 TV shows and movies in total to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets for viewing offline
  • User-selectable download quality to limit data usage
  • User-selectable streaming quality to limit data usage, and
  • Automatic size-reduction of static pictures delivered to mobile devices.

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“The growth potential of the African market is huge, and we’re not the only internet TV service looking to meet that demand. The difference is that we’re not simply cutting and pasting an existing model from elsewhere, and instead have built a product and content selection designed specifically for Africa,” concludes Ernst.