Price review

    Squid Game: a Netflix hit
    The new hit series Squid Game is a major attraction for Netflix. (Netflix)
    • The standard Netflix package is now 14% more expensive, an extra R20 per month, after a price increase.
    • The basic Netflix package, with limited picture quality, is still the same price as Showmax – if you don't want the sport on Showmax.
    • Amazon's Prime Video can be had for between R70 and R90 per month, depending on how you pay.
    • Here is how Netflix now compares to Showmax and Amazon Prime Video, after its price increase.
    • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

    Netflix announced a 14% increase for its standard package this week, which is going up to R159 per month as month-to-month subscriptions roll over to the new price.

    Existing subscribers should be receiving details of the price change via email, while all new subscribers will already pay the new prices.

    Netflix told Channel24 the new pricing is in part "to reflect improvements to our catalogue of movies and shows and the quality of our service."

    There are several would-be streaming TV rivals in South Africa, ranging from Telkom One (around R50 per month) to the eTV video on demand platform (about R30 per month), and more recently, the British-focussed Britbox (about R100 per month).

    But in terms of the available range and the value for money that implies, must-see exclusive shows, and sheer popularity, it remains a three-way race between the original Netflix, the well-funded Amazon Prime, and Showmax with its DStv heritage.

    Here's what you will pay for Netflix now, and how that compares to the its two major competitors in South Africa.

    Netflix: Now R49 to R199, though probably R159.

    The standard Netflix package is now R159 per month. For that, you can watch on any device, at the maximum picture quality most TVs will manage, 1080p.

    If you want 4K streaming instead, you’ll have to pay R199 for the premium package. If you are okay with the pretty good picture quality you’ll get on 480p, you can pay R99 for a basic package.

    And if you only want to watch on a phone or tablet, you can get a mobile rate of R49 per month.

    Netflix is home to the mega global hit Squid Game (and a whole lot of other Korean exclusives, and movies and series from around the world) plus the occasional South African production such as thriller series Kings of Jo'Burg.

    Showmax: R39 to R449, likely R99 if you don't want the sport

    Showmax now has something of a super-premium streaming service, Showmax Pro, which comes in at a cool R449 per month. That adds stuff you would normally be able to watch only on SuperSport via DsTV, including the English Premier League.

    If you are happy to watch your sport on only one mobile device, you can get Pro for R225 instead.

    Skip the sport and you can pay R39 for just mobile access, or R99 per month for the standard package, with two simultaneous streams.

    Other that sport, Showmax has an ever-growing list of local exclusives, most notably recently in the form of the true-crime series Devilsdorp.

    Amazon Prime: R79.99 to roughly R90, depending on how you pay

    The Amazon Prime video streaming service is billed in dollars for South Africans. At the current exchange rate, that $5.99 charge comes to about R90, but the final price will vary from month to month, and depend in part on how much your bank charges for currency conversion.

    You can lock in a rand price of R79.99 instead, by using a Vodacom promotional partnership – if you do it before 27 October, when that deal is due to expire. That deal requires spending at least R150 a month with Vodacom if you are on prepaid, taking up a six-month-free offer, and then maintaining the subscription when payment kicks in.

    One of its better-known exclusives is The Expanse, not unfairly described as "Game of Thrones with spaceships".

    (Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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