Sunday, May 26, 2024

Netflix or Showmax? Here is what you should pay for

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If you enjoy watching movies and TV shows, Netflix is likely your first choice app whenever lay down down on your couch and grab the remote. This is understandable. After all, the streaming giant has cornered the Kenyan market quite well and also spread its claws across the globe. As of 2024, Netflix is the most subscribed content-on-demand streaming service, with approximately 270 million paying customers in 190 nations. In 2023, it was also the 24th most-visited site globally.

But is Netflix the best option for you? 

It depends.

If you love foreign productions, then Netflix is indeed what you ought to pay for. The streaming service has always had a large buffet of cinematic delicacies. And there’s still a lot more to come. According to estimates by industry insiders, Netflix will be spending around $19 billion on original content (commonly known as Netflix Originals) by 2025. On average, a single Netflix original movie or show costs approximately $50 million to produce. This means that there will be around 378 new projects by next year. 

One cannot deny that the company knows how to spoil its customers. I’m pretty sure that you’ve found yourself in a situation where you clicked on Netflix and became confused regarding what to watch because there were so many options. There is a running joke on the internet on how people normally spend 30 minutes searching for the perfect movie, only to choose the most boring one, and then fall asleep 10 minutes later. 

Well, you can always Google something like “Best Action Movies on Netflix” or “Best Romance Movies” on Netflix to get the best recommendations.  

If you love Kenyan content or African content in general, do not touch Netflix. Showmax is the best option for you.

Personally, I have been very impressed by recent Showmax Originals. The company has invested in Kenyan productions. The only problem appears to be the marketing since the majority of the public is still unaware of the gems they have. My favorites so far are Pepeta, Crime * Justice, Single Kiasi, and Faithless. Spare some time for these shows if you can. You won’t regret it. 

Netflix has a few Kenyan offerings too, but I’ve found most of them to be tasteless. And the movies are a lot worse, especially the one starring Pascal Tokodi. It was so boring I’ve forgotten its name. He is a great actor though.

For those who appreciate local talent, Showmax is ideal because it also offers the same shows that are on Maisha Magic, so if you are the kind of person who thinks it’s foolish to rush home to watch Njoro Wa Uba, you can view it at your own time.

Who is behind Showmax? 70% of the company is owned by Multichoice. 30% is owned by NBC Universal. There is thus a perfect mix of both African and foreign investment.

There were a few problems early this year when the company launched a brand-new app. I, too, had complaints as it couldn’t load on my TV. However, this appears to have been fixed now. Over the last two weeks or so, everything has been smooth.

So, there you have it. 

It all depends on your taste. I like both foreign and local productions so I have subscribed to both streaming services. When I was a little boy in the ‘90s, I was just as excited about watching Sinbad as I was about watching Tausi. Since then, I have never been biased. As long as something is good, I will watch it. 

Pay for both services if your pocket allows it. If it doesn’t choose depending on your tastes.

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