African SVOD platforms to show three-fold growth to 2026 | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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After the number of streaming subscribers in the region almost doubled to reach just over 5 million between 2018 and 2021, the Sub-Saharan Africa SVOD market has been growing steadily and will reach 15 million subscribers by 2026 says Dataxis research.
Dataxis African svod 62May2022
The research found that competition between local platforms and international giants was strong. It noted that Showmax, the platform of the South African group MultiChoice, dominated the market with almost 2 million subscribers in 2021. The platform is expected to reach 5 million subscribers by 2026. Showmax is closely followed by Netflix, which grew from 1.5 million subscribers in 2021 to 4.7 million in 2026, and VideoPlay, owned by the South- African mobile operator Vodacom whose reach more than doubled in the five years to 2026 to total 2.4 million.

Although the gap between Showmax and Netflix is narrowing, the survey also suggested that the low penetration rate of 38% in the region, combined with the launch of new actors in 2022 such as Disney+, BAZE (Safaricom) or KIWI (Côte Ouest Audiovisuel) will see competition intensify between local and international platforms to win the Sub-Saharan region.

Yet a number of challenges stand in the way of success. SVOD platforms in the region are faced with important cultural requirements and offering local content is an important key differentiator. Dataxis believes that part of Showmax's success lies in its ability to offer both international and local productions. Indeed, in 2021, four of its top five movies in Sub-Saharan Africa were local productions. In response, Netflix is seeking to become a major player in Nigerian cinema, Nollywood, and on 5 May 2022 the platform released its first co-production with Nigerian studio Ebony Life.

Dataxis concluded by cautioning that the challenge for these platforms was to make their content accessible to the Sub-Saharan African population by overcoming hurdles such as unstable internet connection, lack of payment methods and high prices. This has seen initiatives such as mobile applications, partnerships with mobile operators, or access to free content. Some mobile operators are even launching their own platforms such as Vodacom with Video Play.