MultiChoice is considering the introduction of an ad-supported tier for Showmax, according to CEO Marc Jury. Discussing the commercial viability of streaming platforms, Jury mentioned the ongoing debates around pricing and suggested that an ad-supported tier could help keep prices low while offering advertising on a cost-effective model. He acknowledged the possibility of introducing a higher paid-for tier for ad-free content and additional features, similar to the models used by other streaming services. Jury stated that they are actively exploring this option, although nothing has been confirmed.
During the launch event for Showmax 2.0, Jury hinted at the potential for an ad-supported tier when asked directly about it, responding with a “Never say never.” The revamped Showmax 2.0 will feature a price reduction for the original service from R99 to R89 per month. Additionally, new products include the mobile-only Showmax Premier League for R69 per month and the Showmax Mobile general entertainment service for R39 per month. A Premier League and Showmax Mobile bundle will be available for R99 per month.
Introducing ads to a streaming platform increases its complexity, but Showmax, powered by NBCUniversal’s Peacock, is expected to handle technical aspects smoothly. However, the challenge lies in selling ads and managing associated administrative tasks. If ad-supported products are extended to other African countries where Showmax operates, this complexity and cost will be multiplied for each territory.
While Netflix and Disney+ offer cheaper ad-supported packages globally, they have opted for mobile-only plans in South Africa, similar to Showmax’s offerings. Netflix and Disney’s mobile plans in South Africa are priced at R49 per month, slightly higher than Showmax’s comparable plan.