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VAST Networks zero-rates Showmax on WI-FI

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Showmax, and Africa’s first open access Wi-Fi provider, VAST Networks (VAST), have partnered to zero-rate Wi-Fi data for streaming and downloading TV shows and movies on Showmax. 

Showmax and VAST are currently running a three-month trial at 83 VAST Wi-Fi hotspots across South Africa, which are mainly located at shopping malls and hospitals.

Chris Savides, Head of Showmax Africa, said:

“Thanks to the downloads feature on Showmax, this zero-rated data means much more than just having something to watch while you’re at the mall. Once you log onto one of the VAST Wi-Fi sites, download up to 25 TV shows or movies and the data won’t cost you a cent. Get your groceries at the shops and come home with the week’s entertainment sorted.”

Showmax apps for both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets support the downloads feature. Up to 25 TV shows or movies can be downloaded at once and will remain on the device for 30 days. Once started, viewers have 48 hours to finish viewing a particular piece of content.

Users have the option of four different file sizes, which is useful when memory storage space is limited. At the lowest quality setting, one 20-minute episode of The Big Bang Theory will take up around 80 MB of space.

Grant Marias, CEO at VAST Networks, said:

“Online video consumption, specifically on mobile devices, is growing rapidly in South Africa.  With entertainment being one of the most sought-after content types, we are very excited to play a role in addressing this need and providing consumers with wider access to relevant content.

“Our efforts continue to be aimed at our ambition of democratising internet access and we look forward to supporting Showmax and delivering greater value to the South African market.”

A full list of sites is available here: https://www.showmax.com/eng/vast.

The internet TV phenomenon is taking off globally with more than 100 million people now streaming TV shows and movies. The ability to choose from an extensive and diverse catalogue of content, start and stop at will, and do this without interruption from adverts is proving highly attractive.

Showmax launched in 2015 and costs R99 per month. There’s no contract – the service can be cancelled at any time with zero penalty.

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Arts and Entertainment

Avengers’ all-time accolade

This past weekend Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War became the second highest grossing film of all time at the South African Box Office.

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This means that Marvel Studios now holds the number 2 and number 1 film of all time positions at the local Box Office, following Black Panther’s unprecedented record-shattering run since it’s 16 February 2018 release.

In South Africa, audiences continued to assemble in cinemas to witness the cinematic journey ten years in the making, earning Avengers: Infinity War a current total box office tally of just under R73 million with over 874 000 attendances.

Black Panther’s historic box office journey ended in June and now boasts a final box office total just shy of R107.5 million and over 1.43 million attendances, making it the biggest film of all time at the South African box office and the first to cross the R100m mark. This record builds on Black Panther’s list of achievements on the African continent and is the biggest grossing film of all time not only in South Africa, but also East and West Africa. Black Panther is now available to enjoy on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as to digitally rent or buy from retailers and providers across the continent.

Elsewhere in Africa, Avengers: Infinity War has also raked in a total of Kes 66.9m in East Africa, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind Black Panther. Similarly, in West Africa, the film hit N450m at the box office, making it the 2nd highest grossing international film of all time, also behind Black Panther.

For Marvel Studios fans, the action and adventure continues as the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp, hit cinemas this past weekend and created enough buzz to fly into the number one position at the South African Box Office.

“We are thrilled at the response that Marvel Studios’ titles have continued to receive from cinema-goers across the continent,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With Ant-Man and The Wasp in cinemas, and both Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film in 2019, we are eagerly anticipating the continuing expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to celebrating with fans.”

On the animated front and with its own super hero theme, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, continues to entertain families across the country and is already Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film of all time behind Finding Dory, after only 3 weeks in release.

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