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Netflix and Showmax Lead SVOD Market in Africa: What the Future Holds


The landscape of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) in Africa is witnessing a significant shift, with Netflix and Showmax emerging as dominant players. Both companies have undertaken expansive strategies that are yielding favorable results.

A recent study predicts continued dominance for Netflix, while Showmax follows closely behind. However, challenges and opportunities abound in this rapidly evolving market.

Netflix Predicted to Maintain Market Leadership

According to a recent study, Netflix is projected to maintain its position as the market leader in SVOD, with an estimated 6.9 million subscribers by 2029.

Showmax is expected to secure the second-largest share of the market, boasting approximately 3.7 million paying subscribers.

In contrast, Disney+ is forecasted to have only 905,000 subscriptions by 2029, primarily due to its limited rollout in South Africa.

Expanding SVOD Market in Sub-Saharan Africa

The study highlights a significant surge in SVOD subscriptions across Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated addition of 9 million paying subscribers by 2029.

This growth trajectory will propel the total SVOD market to 16 million subscriptions, up from 7 million in 2023.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the projected growth, SVOD penetration remains relatively low, with only 7.1% of TV households expected to have at least one subscription by 2029.

However, South Africa and Nigeria are poised to contribute significantly to the region’s SVOD market, accounting for 59% (9.4 million) of total subscriptions by 2029.

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Insights from Industry Experts

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst, emphasizes the competitive landscape between Netflix and Showmax.

Showmax’s rich portfolio of local content and sports rights, coupled with partnerships with major studios like NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, and HBO, positions it as a formidable contender.

MultiChoice, the parent company of Showmax, recently rebuffed a takeover bid from Canal Plus, indicating confidence in its strategic direction.

Factors Driving SVOD Adoption

While Netflix and Showmax lead the charge, several factors contribute to the overall adoption of streaming services in Africa.

Improved broadband quality, rising smart TV penetration, expanded service availability, and perceived value are all catalysts fueling the growth of SVOD platforms.

Strategic Shifts in the Market

Earlier this year, Amazon Prime Video announced plans to scale back its presence in Africa and the Middle East, redirecting its focus towards European productions.

This strategic pivot marks Amazon Prime Video‘s withdrawal from the Sub-Saharan region, signaling a shift in the competitive landscape of SVOD in Africa.


The future of SVOD in Africa is characterized by dynamic competition, evolving consumer preferences, and strategic maneuvers by industry players.

While Netflix and Showmax currently lead the market, emerging trends and shifting strategies underscore the need for agility and innovation in this rapidly evolving landscape.


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