South Africa’s ShowMax to launch in Poland | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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South African media giant Naspers is expanding into Europe with its ShowMax subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) subsidiary, following the launch of a localised service in Poland.

ShowMax Poland PitbullShowMax Poland will offer streamed local TV shows, including political satire Ucho Prezesa (Ear of the Chairman) for which it has acquired exclusive rights, while its movie catalogue will include titles by Polish directors, including 2016 box office hits Pitbull and Planeta Singli.

The creation of original content is also planned for the SVOD service, which also offers customers the ability to download up to 25 shows to watch later offline.

“This is a big deal for us, especially coming just 18 months after we launched ShowMax. With more than seven million people paying for online video in Poland and an overall population of more than 38 million, this is an exciting market,” said John Kotsaftis, CEO, ShowMax.

“The key to success, however, is catering for local needs. To deliver on this and be close to the market, we chose to set up operations in Warsaw, headed up by a respected Polish pay-TV and Internet TV pioneer. This team is aggressively developing a strong portfolio of local content including commissioning original productions.”

Three consumer challenges are considered key for ShowMax’s success in Poland, namely having access to local content to combat competition from pirate sites, helping subscribers discover relevant new content, and having conveniently accessible, high-quality video free from the malware sometimes present on pirate sites.

“Poland is an interesting market in that local content features heavily on pirate sites, with many of these sites actually charging for access. In fact, pirate sites account for a significant portion of all online video revenue. This tells us there’s a ready appetite to pay for a truly Polish service with content that excites and entertains people,” said Kotsaftis.

Former Google executive Maciej Sojka, who ran YouTube partnerships for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been hired to set up and run ShowMax Poland.

ShowMax , which launched in South Africa in August 2015, is already available in 36 sub Saharan African countries.
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