Since the video on demand service, Showmax, opened its doors to Kenya in October 2016, it continues to push the wheel on what is technologically possible to penetrate the Kenyan market. The company has two products, select and premium with the select version exclusively carrying Kenyan Package. On its launch, the company collaborated with Safaricom’s M-pesa payment service, making it a first of its kind in the market.
Lessons Learnt and progress
According to the showMax Africa head, Chris Savides, the company has learnt much and it has many plans for the future. Chris notes that Kenyans are vocal and passionate about the content and the subscribers play a crucial role in providing feedback.
There is a Kenyan team running the services locally since they found it challenging to operate remotely. They have a country manager, head of content, marketing manager and Kenyan partnerships. The company’s offices are located at the Nairobi Garage.
The company has so far managed to put Kenyan content servers thus making it easier to serve it locally. They also have a team responsible for the making of iOS and android apps which is currently trying to understand the Kenyan market. The team has found out that Kenyans are interested on the capability of their Smartphones phones. it is necessary to understand the phone users since it is important when developing apps that can be integrated with the local devices.
Showmax is currently working with its sister company in Kenya, Multichoice, so that they can access some of the content owned by multichoice and agree on what they can use together. They are also working towards producing original Kenyan content that is unique, entertaining and much appealing to a broader audience. There is a broad spectrum in their shows but the most popular categories include kids’ content and shows such as Game of Thrones. The audience also loves throwback shows such as Friends. All this can be played on an Android Media player and you can download the Android TV app from the google Playstore.
The showmax head, Chris, has big dreams for the future of Showmax in Kenya and Africa as a whole. He wants the local team to grow and continue to improve the Kenyan customer experience. They also want the content to remain real and local while the pricing remaining affordable, using local currency and integrated with user friendly payment platforms such as Mpesa.
Chris believes that if internet connectivity becomes more affordable and with high speeds, they are going to experience a boom in the video industry with many other services coming in. He says the company is passionate about the overall user experience and offering high quality video on demand.