British streaming service BritBox to launch in SA– here's how it compares to Showmax, Netflix, others
- BritBox will debut on 6 August in South Africa.
- It's a partnership between Britain's BBC and ITV and will offer South African viewers British programming including drama premieres and live events.
- South Africa is its fifth market; it already has more than two million subscribers across the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
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British streaming platform BritBox, jointly produced by BBC and ITV, has become the latest on-demand TV subscription service to launch in South Africa, where competition is fierce.
The UK-based group is just the latest arrival going up against well-established streaming group's such as MultiChoices's Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, TelkomONE, and Netflix.
Though the number of streaming service is on the rise, so is the demand for their services. The market is expected to more than double revenue from the R1 billion it generated in 2017 to just over R2 billion in 2022, according to data by PwC's Insights from the Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2019 – 2023 report.
The speed at which this market grows is, however, "held back by low broadband penetration and poor infrastructure outside of the large cities," notes PwC.
Despite the crowed market and the broadband issues, the UK group, which already has more than two million subscriptions globally across the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, still sees its offering of BBC and ITV dramas, comedies, documentaries, lifestyle shows, and murder mysteries finding a market in SA.
"We're really excited to be bringing BritBox into South African homes and are confident viewers are going to love our programming, which offers a mixture of brilliant classic and contemporary content, plus the biggest collection of British box sets, all in one place," Neale Dennett, BritBox International's new markets launch director said.
The platform will boast programming by the BBC and ITV, including dramas, comedies, documentaries, lifestyle shows, and murder mysteries. It will also have drama premieres and live events. It will debut on 6 August.
According to their research, there has been a growing appetite from diverse backgrounds for curated, on-demand British television, Reemah Sakaan, BritBox CEO, said.
"It's quality content that's effortlessly watchable… British TV and film has grown exponentially as a cultural export in recent years, with productions and talent frequently scooping BAFTAs, Emmys, and Oscars, and regularly recognised as some of the best in the world for quality and escapism," she said.
She said British TV has become more mainstream over time and is no longer niche, with more interest in nostalgia viewing.
But just how does it compare to other streaming platforms?
Viewers will be able to stream from Android and Apple smartphones, tablets, or on a FireTV, AppleTV, Samsung Smart TV, and LG Smart TV at the cost of R99 per month or R999,99 for 12 months.
While subscribers can watch all movies and TV shows on the Netflix Mobile plan, they can only watch from a mobile phone or tablet and a single screen at a time. They are also limited to one device for downloads. On the Basic plan, subscribers can also watch from their TV. The Standard plan allows users to watch from two screens simultaneously and can use up to two devices for downloads. The plan also has HD available. Premium viewers can watch from four screens and can download content on four devices; the plan also has ultra HD viewing.
Showmax's standard offering allows you to stream international and local content, excluding DSTV's music, sporting, and news channels. Users are also allowed only two concurrent streams. They can watch HD from a smartphone, tablet, and TV. The Mobile version only allows one SD stream at a time and can't be accessed from a TV.
Showmax Pro offers HD viewing of all content, including music, sporting, and news channels, with two concurrent streams, while the mobile version only allows one stream and views in SD.
While the local TV streaming service, launched late last year, has a free section offering a wide range of content, it has three main packages: daily, weekly, and monthly subscriptions. Subscribers can watch on a smartphone or their TVs.
While the Apple TV+ streaming service allows you to watch an extensive range of movies and TV shows, users can rent or purchase new releases, popular movies, and some classics.
Amazon Prime Video
Although Amazon Prime is not available in South Africa yet, South Africans can view Amazon Prime Video content at a $5,99 per month membership cost or R88 today. Users on the membership can stream movies and TV shows unlimited on Smart TVs, iPads, PS3, Xbox, Wii, Wii U, Roku, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and the Web.
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