With data costs decreasing in South Africa and with more areas being Fibre-ready, it has become easier than ever to gain access to a whole new world of endless entertainment.
More and more streaming services are becoming available in SA with Netflix and Showmax being the trendsetters as they were the first to hit the market in our country.
It has become more feasible these days to pay for a streaming service subscription and internet connection than to only have satellite TV channels. Streaming offers more flexibility and choice as you can decide when and what you want to watch – without pesky ads in the middle of an important moment in your favourite show.
So what’s out there?
We all know good ol’ DStv. They have been around since 1995 growing out of the first paid television channel, M-Net which started in 1986, both running under the MultiChoice umbrella.
With many customers migrating to streaming services, they decided to make it easier for customers to stream not only Live TV but also watching on-demand series and movies that have been shown on DStv channels. In 2011 they launched DStv Mobile, later called DStv Now and recently renamed it again to just DStv streaming services, making DStv content available on your mobile phone, tablet or PC.
You have the option of getting the DStv satellite television packages which include streaming for free. This means you don’t need to be at your television at home to still access your DStv. Packages range from R29pm for the smallest package to a maximum of R909pm (depending on what your installation, etc. needs are).
If you only want to stream DStv, you do not need to purchase the satellite packages. You can opt for the stream-only packages ranging from R29pm to R829pm.
Showmax was the first streaming service to hit the streets in South Africa when it was launched in 2015 by MultiChoice. Showmax provides a lot of local content that you might not otherwise be able to access. You will be able to watch on two devices at the same time.
Showmax has two main packages available:
Standard Showmax package includes series, movies, Showmax original productions and kids’ content from R39pm or you can get the prepaid option for R79.
Showmax Pro includes the movies and series promised in the standard package and additional sport and news content from R225pm.
If you are a DStv Premium package customer, you will get Showmax for free. If you have another DStv package, you will be able to add the Showmax subscription to your DStv account and enjoy discounts.
The international streaming service, Netflix, was soon to follow when they launched in South Africa a year later in 2016.
There is a wide variety of international content but recently we’ve seen more locally produced content also being added. In March alone, Netflix invested R14m to fund six South African produced feature films and have agreed to continue investing in more local content.
There is a 30-day free trial period should you want to give it a test run first. There are four packages to choose from:
The packages differ depending on the video quality and amount of devices you’d like to watch on.
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
It might seem a little confusing at first when trying to subscribe to Amazon Prime as subscriptions are priced in US dollars but do not be dismayed, you can still sign up without needing a VPN. You will only find international content on Amazon Prime and you can also stream sports such as NBA, NFL and PGA games.
Membership comes at a cost of $2,99 per month for the first six months and thereafter it renews at around $5,99 per month.
Apple TV has a variety of international series, movies and documentaries for you to enjoy and is priced in Rands so you won’t have to worry about those extra exchange rates and fees!
You can watch Apple TV+ from an Apple device for only R84,99 per month.
GOOGLE PLAY (adhoc)
Google Play offers the option to download movies, books and music at a once-off fee each. Rates range between R10-R150 depending on the content you want to download.
Viu is an international service that was recently launched in South Africa. What’s cool about Viu is that you can get content from international channels TLC and Crime Investigation in the same place as SABC and eTV soapies like Skeem Saam, Muvhango, 7de Laan, etc. for only R69 per month.
If you’d like to access a variety of British television series and movies, BritBox is the one for you! The streaming service very recently launched in South Africa so no need for a VPN or paying in a different currency. All the British drama can be at your fingertips for only R99,99 per month.
Great news for Disney fans! Disney+ will be launching in South Africa next year around June. That means no more VPN’s and you can pay in Rands. Disney, Marvel, National Geographic and Pixar movies, series and documentaries are all available on Disney+
If you are just too excited to wait and have a VPN installed, you will pay around $7,99 per month.
There are many streaming services internationally that you can still try and access, for example, Hulu, WarnerMedia, Paramount, HBO, etc. However, to access these you have to install a VPN to change your computer’s location to a location where the service is available and you will have to pay in US Dollars which could fluctuate depending on the exchange rate.
You can download a VPN from example, 1-Grid which offers up to 10 devices per account, military-grade encryption and no contracts to lock you down for only R179pm.