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Netflix vs Showmax and Other Alternatives.

Internet / Technology

Jessie Clarke-Mcleod
March 7, 2019


Netflix vs Showmax and Other Alternatives.

When it comes to streaming online, there are a lot of options popping up on the South African market. It is difficult to know which platform is the best suited to your needs. This article will guide you through Netflix and Showmax platforms to discuss the pros and cons of each. We will also provide a short list of alternative sites that can be utilised for your streaming needs.


Netflix has a South African version and a US version. At the moment the US version has a lot more on offer regarding its content. Only 676 of its titles are available to South Africa. However, the SA Netflix content has continued to grow steadily. Netflix has also provided South Africa with pricing in rands which means we no longer have to deal with fluctuating costs every month due to differences between currency values. Even with the absence of currency fluctuation, Netflix is currently the most expensive streaming site in South Africa.  Its silver pricing is R129.99 per month, with its middle pricing hitting R164.99 and finally its platinum package costing R199.99. Regarding the streaming quality,, Netflix offers the best service with 5.1 surround sound and high-quality video in UHD resolution.

Netflix is available on all platforms like PS4, Xbox one and multiple media boxes.


ShowMax is Netflix’s most significant competitor on the South African market. It costs less than Netflix at R99 per month. ShowMax has over 587 titles on offer. However, it limits the number of devices that can connect to the account.  So keep track of where you log in. Showmax has some highly sought after HBO titles such as Game of Thrones and True Blood. ShowMax secured rights to House of Cards and Orange is the New Black from Sony. These titles were initially been Netflix staples. Netflix did not move into South Africa fast enough to monopolise the market. Rights to specific content such as Grey’s Anatomy and other series had already been sold to Multichoice before Netflix moved into the country.  Although there is a lot of content crossover between the two platforms, it seems that at the moment to access everything you have to subscribe to both streaming platforms. ShowMax cannot be obtained on as many platforms and multimedia boxes like Netflix. One neat feature that ShowMax has is that it allows you to download episodes to view offline at a later stage. The data conscious feature is a win if you don’t have access to wifi away from home.


This platform allows you to stream and download shows on the go using the DSTV Now app. Select shows are available for downloading and streaming after they air via the catch-up program. Both Android and IOS devices support this. Multichoice has a monopoly on the rights to broadcast sports channels such as SuperSport. The monopoly has helped to secure their consumers need for DSTV to access these sports channels. These channels are available for streaming via their DSTV now app.  The company has been working on introducing 4k streaming to its DSTV Now app. The app is open to all DSTV customers for free. The content on offer will vary from package to package. The DSTV platinum package costs R959p/m. However, the DSTV platinum package is their most expensive, and they do offer more affordable rates. DSTV Now rates are still higher than ShowMax and Netflix alternatives.

Google Play:

This has to be one of the most diverse platforms. Although you cannot stream, you can purchase movies and documentaries at an affordable rate. Movie prices start at just R11. This platform also allows you to buy songs and albums from your favourite artists as well as download the latest novels in the form of E-books. There is a lot of speculation about whether Google Play will link up with YouTube Red, YouTube’s streaming platform. YouTube Red is not yet available to the South African market. For a taste of their content check out YouTube Originals which allows you to view some of their series on offer up until the third episode.  Youtube Red has not confirmed whether it will be rolling out its services to South Africa any time soon.

Amazon Prime Video South Africa:

Amazon Prime Video is probably one of the more serious contenders in the streaming market.  It has 255 titles. It costs around R81 which makes it more affordable than its competitors.  Amazon Prime is also available on some platforms including Amazon Fire TV, Fire HDX, Fire HD, iPad, PS3, Xbox, Wii, Wii U, Roku, on hundreds of TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and on the Web. The platform also features Amazon original series such as “Transparent”,”The Man in the High Castle”, and “Mozart in the Jungle”.

Streaming sites offer you what you want, when you want it, tailored to your interests.

With so much on offer, it can be hard to figure out what will suit you. We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive breakdown of the different platforms available on the South African market. If you found this article useful share it with your friends.

2 thoughts on “Netflix vs Showmax and Other Alternatives.”

  1. David Williams


    October 21, 2019

    I don’t seem to be able to get netflix on my Smart TV which is connected to DSTV Platinum.I can get Netflix on my laptop but not on my smart TV via your wireless connection.


    • Angelo Fortune


      November 11, 2019

      Hi David,
      Thanks for reaching out to us. We have notified our support department in order to assist with your request.


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