Netflix or Showmax? Best Internet weighs out the best streaming platform for you
As of 2020, Netflix users have spent an average amount of 3.2 hours per day streaming movies and series, adding to the entire global video streaming market to be valued at $50.1 billion (roughly R799 billion).
That’s a lotta hours and a lotta dollars! It’s safe to say that watching TV via the Internet is only getting bigger and better in 2021 and beyond. But, which streaming platform is best for South African viewers? Best Internet takes a look at Netflix and Showmax and compares the wins and losses – right down to a final verdict. Let’s get going…
Netflix or Showmax? Let’s compare
Netflix and Showmax are both popular streaming services that offer a variety of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and original content. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Netflix is available in more countries and has a larger library of content than Showmax. It also offers personalised recommendations based on viewing history and allows users to create multiple profiles on one account. Netflix's original content, such as Stranger Things, House of Cards, and Narcos, has gained a massive following and critical acclaim.
Showmax, on the other hand, is only available in certain countries, including South Africa. It does not have as large a library of content as Netflix, but it focuses more on local content and offers many popular South African TV shows and movies. Showmax also allows for offline downloads, which can be useful for watching on the go.
Overall, both Netflix and Showmax are great options for streaming entertainment, but the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and location.
When it comes to choosing a streaming service, content is king
The main reason why someone will choose one streaming service over another is the content – the shows, movies, and documentaries they can offer you, and how on top of the latest releases they are. Let’s break down what Netflix and Showmax offer you!
Showmax nabbed a massive goodie when they signed HBO and HBO Max as a content partner. For decades, HBO has released some of the best movies, series, and documentaries TV has to offer. Before streaming became so widely accessible, South African viewers didn’t really have access to HBO’s content – until now. From the award-winning series Veep to the in-depth documentary following Tiger Woods’ golfing career, Showmax viewers certainly have a one-up on die-hard Netflix fans.
Classic movies and series
Netflix has been around since 1997 (what?!), which means they have a much wider global reach and more investment in it – so much so that that the streaming service is worth $289 billion and has 214 million paid memberships. This allows them to buy the rights to stream massive shows like Friends, Seinfeld, and The Office; and movies like Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, and Man on Fire. Although Showmax does have well-known series and movies, Netflix takes the cake when it comes to the classics.
When it comes to adding new movies and series for viewers to binge, Netflix and Showmax are pretty tied up. Both streaming services can be a little slow when it comes to timeous releases. Sometimes you have to wait 2-3 weeks before anything you like or know joins the bank of content. However, to combat this, Netflix has its own Originals that they create and produce from scratch. Netflix can produce and release its own content on its own schedule, without having to rely on massive networks or studios.
Platform wins and losses
No streaming platform is perfect, so viewers will just have to decide what they can and cannot put up with. Netflix’s search feature is far more intuitive than Showmax’s, giving you more accurate results without losing out on options. However, on the main homepage, Netflix tends to repeat the same titles over and over based on what you’ve watched before, which limits you from finding new content. Showmax loses with their video quality, offering only HD (720 pixels).
South African content
Because Showmax is South African and offers a lot of the MultiChoice content you’d receive on DStv, you can enjoy more local content on Showmax. On the other hand, in the last 2-3 years, Netflix has made a large effort to curate its content within each country to include titles featuring local actors, shows, and stand-up comedy. We can give two thumbs up to both platforms for featuring awesome South African content!
What speeds do you need to stream Netflix and Showmax?
To enjoy the very best in TV streaming, you’re going to need a trusted internet provider that offers more-than-adequate speeds.
If you’d like to stream in HD, you’ll need speeds of about 10 Mbps. If you’d like to stream in Full HD, 10-15 Mbps will be good enough. If you’re streaming in 4K, you’ll need a minimum of 25 Mbps.
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The verdict: Best Internet’s choice
Overall, both platforms offer epic shows and movies at affordable prices, with mobile options available. But the streaming service that takes the cake… is Showmax! At such an affordable price point, you can have access to the US’s best series, movies, and documentaries through HBO and HBO Max, and many of the titles available on M-Net and other DStv channels. It’s undeniable!
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