For most Kenyans, internet TV and streaming services are a new phenomenon. For those who know what it means to stream TV shows, internet TV means the joy, the freedom and the convenience to do with your TV whatever you please. I remember when local TV stations introduced me to Smallville, Monk, Supernatural and Criminal minds. I thought I had lost that level of control and the chance to catch up with some of my favourite oldtimer shows until I ran into Showmax.
Recently I went and met the one person who knows most about showmax as it is; the head of Showmax Africa Mr Chris Savides. The first thing I noticed was the commitment in his voice when he talked about Showmax. There was also a quiet excitement when he talked about what was to come in the following months. Over drinks and those peanuts that come in a fancy wooden bowl, I got to learn a lot about Showmax.
Chris has great dreams for the Kenyan market, given the fast and continuous penetration of internet services in the country. Towards this, the company is leaning heavily towards airing of Kenyan content and is looking at eventually even producing original content unique to Kenya. Showmax has a local team working on their operations here and Chris’s plan is for it to grow and continue to serve Kenyans as Kenyans.
It also is a great plus that when showmax opened its doors here, one of the first thing they did was partner with Mpesa – very Kenyanized easy payment for everyone.
With Showmax, you get to catch up with lots of your favourite shows from way back. They have over 20,000 titles available including firm favourites like Dr House, Castle, Game of Thrones, Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Infact they are the exclusive holders of HBO content in the region. This in itself is awesome but to factor in they also carry local titles makes it even better to be honest. They have exclusive rights to some of the well liked local TV shows including Kona, Aunty Boss and the Real Housewives of Kawangware.
Why can’t I just download things?
Downloads, and the movie guy is how an increasing number of Kenyans get TV content. Gone are the days when your local TV stations used to bring relatable, relevant content. However, the disadvantage to this is that the movie guy stuff is usually of a very questionable character and downloading will fill your hard drive faster than a matatu at rush hour. Most of us do not actually realize that downloading some of this content is illegal; and if you’re one of those who did not, you can thank me for this little nugget of information. I accept gift bags with food.
If you are really addicted to downloading though, Showmax has got you covered. You can save shows to your devices and watch later. However, you can only keep them for 48 hours. Moreover, I dare you, no wait, I will bet you money that you cannot get Auntie Boss or The real Housewives of Kawangware on a torrent site!
How about my data bundles?
Well, Showmax has this kickass development team (smart eggheads who can do strange things with a laptop) that is making sure that their content saves you on data when using their mobile app. They even brought in someone to look at the devices we use here to help them tailor their content sizes and formats to support them. That is what I call commitment.
Showmax has this 14 day trial period that I am just emerging from it like termites in the rainy season. They suckered me with the trial period, I started with Big Bang Theory Season 1 episode 1 and I have just completed all episodes of House. Is it value for money? Very. Plus I absolutely loved the fact that they are priced in Kenya shillings. This means that they will not hike prices when the dollar fluctuates against international currencies.