When it comes to streaming services, the competition is fierce as every platform is competing in both the quality and the quantity of its content on offer. Local streaming service Showmax is looking to grab more of the market, as it has just announced Showmax Free.
While Showmax does have a variety of options ranging from a rather cheap mobile-only package to the more premium-priced Pro package which also includes live-sports offerings, this new version could easily be the one that gets the most people into the habit of streaming content. It’s supported by adverts, but at least they’re far less annoying than the ones you’re bombarded with on regular television or YouTube.
Showmax also has a 14-day free trial, which offers full functionality (minus the live sports in the Pro version) for a limited time before incurring subscription costs. This new version of the site though does not require any upfront sign-up or card details, and can be navigated to directly from the main site or the latest version of the app where free mode can be selected. If you are using the app in free mode, you will not be able to download content either like you currently can with other subscription packages.
Obviously, Showmax wouldn’t be putting their best content on this free service (similar to Netflix) and so the content that is on offer is greatly reduced, focusing more on a collection of early seasons from selected local and international series, and movies, with a stronger emphasis on local offerings.
It will also include a selection of sports highlights and occasional live matches, so this should appeal to sports fans on a tight budget. It won’t be the latest content or the most exclusive, but the line-up as it currently stands is probably far better than what you’re going to get on other free television networks like SABC and eTV. So from a value perspective, it’s already winning.
With SABC planning on starting its own streaming service in the future in an attempt to leech cash away from anyone who owns an electronic screen, this is a smart movie from Showmax to ensure that it already starts winning over viewers who have yet to embrace streaming culture. It may even have already snuffed out any hope that the SABC had of making a dent in this market..