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ShowMax brings VoD to Kenya with M-PESA



ShowMax has recently launched two VoD packages in Kenya. The first offers a range of international and local content while the second, a mobile offering, is designed especially for the mobile market – offering data savings of up to 75%.

Subscription video on demand service ShowMax has launched a two-tier service in Kenya for watching TV shows and movies via the internet.

It is a first-of-its-kind video concept that directly addresses the needs of local internet TV consumers with two different tiers of service:

ShowMax Premium, priced at KSh 880 per month, has a full range of international and local content.

ShowMax Select, priced at KSh 330 per month, is a mobile-first, data optimised product that offers reduced data consumption with savings of up to 75%. It has a specific focus on local content, and is paid for using M-PESA. Kenya is the first country to have this second tier added to ShowMax, and the first major Video-on-Demand service that can be paid for via mobile money.

Both tiers allow subscribers to either stream content or to download up to 25 shows to watch offline. Downloaded content is valid for 30 days. Data usage is charged separately and works with a customer’s existing data bundles.

“We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions,” says ShowMax CEO John Kotsaftis. “Kenya has different needs and tastes to other countries and deserves something designed specifically for Kenyans. ShowMax is the first international internet TV service that’s priced in KSh and paid for using M-PESA. It’s the first to put strong emphasis on local content including having sports clips. It’s the first to be optimised for mobile usage, reducing data consumption by as much as 75%. And it’s the first to deliver all of this at an affordable price point.”

ShowMax features local favourites such as Real Househelps of Kawangware, Churchill Live, Auntie Boss, and Kona, as well as popular series and movies from Hollywood like Mr Robot, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Blue Bloods, and The Good Wife.

Subscribers can choose from a number of different download video quality levels. Using the most data-efficient setting, downloading a 20-minute TV show will use approximately 80 MB. This means that a 7.5 GB data bundle would be enough for more than 90 episodes.

Said Kotsaftis: “Kenya has all the right ingredients: tech-savvy consumers, rapidly expanding internet connectivity, and an appetite for quality TV shows and movies. So why hasn’t internet TV taken off yet?

“It doesn’t matter how good your service is if you don’t first solve the data challenge for customers, particularly for the majority of people who rely on mobile internet. That’s why we designed data-saving features and the ability to download content into ShowMax from the outset. With these features and a strong focus on local content, we think ShowMax will finally crack the internet TV model in Kenya.”