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Video on demand

  • ShowMax now supports Android TV, PS4 app ‘out soon’

    Naspers-owned video streaming service ShowMax has today announced that it now fully supports Android TV devices. This support comes courtesy of an updated Android app, which now allows users to watch streaming content "through a compatible Android media player or on a smart TV running Android TV software". Android TV was a OS launched by Google back in 2014, but doesn't feature on too many media devices in South Africa. Still, if you happen to have an Android-based device like the CloudGate or Mi Box, the app should now play nice with your large TV. Speaking of large screens, other additions made...

  • 5 things to know about Netflix’s offline downloads

    Streaming colossus Netflix has finally revealed download functionality for Netflix, allowing users to store videos on their devices for offline viewing. It's been a long-overdue feature, allowing people to watch while on planes, overseas and in other places where fast, bountiful internet isn't readily available. But what should you know about the feature then? We've got five things to keep in mind. MicroSD card support is weird Netflix doesn't let you choose where to store downloaded video clips, making for a rather weird omission. But according to the streaming service's help page, Netflix will save videos to wherever the app is installed. In...

  • Netflix movies, series are now available as offline downloads

    Netflix users can now download films and movies to their mobile devices via the app, the streaming service announced. Eddy Wu, the company's director of product innovation, explains that it was numerous user suggestions that prompted the feature's inclusion. "While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited," he explains. Netflix users in the States can now download series and movies for offline viewing As for the feature itself, it's reminiscent of ShowMax's offline downloading service. Simply head to your favourite series or...

  • Netflix 4K streams are now exclusive to Windows 10, Edge

    Netflix has had a 4K streaming option for a while now, being part of its highest pricing tier. In fact, the company was one of the first major services to roll out 4K support. But in a rather surprising move, the streaming colossus and Microsoft have announced that 4K content will be exclusive to Windows 10 machines. "4K content from Netflix is now available exclusively for compatible PCs and 2-in-1 devices with Windows 10, including the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, premiering November 25th," the Redmond company announced on its blog. Have a Windows 10 device and want to...

  • ‘Vodacom On Demand’ video service to debut in 2017

    Vodacom has had an interesting Monday. After the company announced relatively unchanged half-year earnings, it also unveiled something a bit novel. The company today revealed plans for its video-on-demand platform, Vodacom On Demand. The company will partner with DStv parent company Multichoice and Naspers' streaming darling ShowMax to bring mobile streaming to its customers. According to TechCentral, the company's move is a bid to inject some life into its fibre and mobile traffic offerings. While Vodacom does have limited fibre systems in the country's major metros, the entire network was declared 4G ready back in September 2014. This move also comes after...

  • Netflix’s user base climbs to 86m, revenue tops $2bn

    Netflix is growing. Quickly. According to the company's latest earning report, its revenue has topped the US$2-billion mark for the first time. That's a growth of 36% from Q3 2015 to Q3 2016. A vast clump of revenue was made beyond US borders. Netflix Q3 2016: The key numbers US$2.2-billion global streaming revenue US$880-million international streaming revenue 86-million global subscribers 3.6-million subscribers added "Global streaming revenue totaled $2.2-billion, of which 40% was generated abroad. Operating income amounted to $106-million (compared with our $64-million estimate) while net income was $52-million (vs. forecast of $22-million)," the company reveals on its investor notice. The service globally...

  • Netflix, Amazon are outspending HBO on TV programming

    A new report finds that Netflix and Amazon are outspending several big traditional networks when it comes to TV programming. According to the World TV Production Report 2016 from IHS Markit, the two internet streaming firms spent a total of US$7.5-billion last year. Amazon spent US$2.67-billion last year, compared to Netflix and its impressive US$4.91-billion figure for 2015. Both streaming services outspent HBO (US$2-billion), while Netflix also shelled out more cash for TV programming than Turner Broadcasting (US$3.8-billion). Next in Netflix's sights is CBS, having spent US$5.7-billion last year, according to IHS Markit. However, the streaming service still trails Disney and NBC Universal, being pegged at US$11.8-billion and US$10.2-billion...

  • 4 features Netflix needs to succeed in emerging markets

    Video streaming superstar Netflix has gone from strength to strength in the past few years, expanding dramatically and churning out top-notch original content. However, the company still has a long way to go in several emerging markets, as local services in Asia, Latin America and South Africa enjoy varying levels of success. These services also bring crucial lessons for Netflix - here are a few features it needs to bring to the table. User-adjustable video quality Automatic video quality adjustment is a welcome feature if you've got an unpredictable connection, dynamically adjusting quality based on available throughput. This only solves the issue of unstable internet speeds though, rather than...

  • ShowMax launches two-tier streaming service in Kenya

    It's been a great week for African tech. After Pokemon Go was finally made available in 31 of the continent's countries, Naspers-owned streaming video service ShowMax has today launched in Kenya. Citing special requirements for the Kenyan online market, the company has unveiled a "two-tier service" which allows for budget and premium users to enjoy a largely similar service, albeit with a few key differences. "We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions," states GM of ShowMax, John Kotsaftis in a press release. "Kenya has different needs and tastes to other countries and deserves something designed specifically for Kenyans. " the first to put strong...

  • Netflix library reportedly down 50% in four years

    Thought the South African version of Netflix was lacking in the content department? Well, it appears that American users are feeling the content squeeze as well. According to Exstreamist, there are currently 5302 titles on the US version of the streaming service, including TV shows and movies. However, this was down 50% compared to 2012, when the service apparently had almost 11 000 titles, insider sources told the publication. Exstreamist claims that this downward trend was due to content owners refusing to give Netflix distribution rights as well as due to the firm decreasing its spend on third-party titles. Netflix is increasingly emphasising original content over...

  • ShowMax continues data crusade with new ‘bandwidth calculator’

    Say what you want to about the ShowMax library but the company is absolutely killing it when it comes to data-saving features. With the ability to download content for offline viewing, the service is doing a great job of catering to bandwidth-starved users. Now, the Naspers-owned streaming service has announced the launch of a bandwidth calculator (accessible here), allowing users to figure out just how much data they need on a weekly and monthly basis. "Simply choose the required video quality/bandwidth capping level and the number of hours watched per week, and the calculator gives an estimate of weekly and monthly data usage," ShowMax explained in...

  • Is a VPN crackdown behind Netflix’s drop in user growth?

    Netflix has seen slower than anticipated user growth in its most recent forecast, but why is this the case? If you ask the streaming service, it's largely due to many subscribers being "ungrandfathered" (moved to the new price plans). However, NordVPN has a slightly different take on the issue... The VPN service cited feedback from its customers, revealing three big trends behind recent Netflix and VPN usage. The first trend was that people are unsubscribing from Netflix rather than from their VPN service, saying the customers chose "privacy over streaming". In a March 2016 blog post, NordVPN explained why people might drop Netflix instead. "Netflix is now in...

  • Netflix sees drop in user growth, a sign of things to come?

    Streaming colossus Netflix has announced its earnings for the second quarter of 2016, revealing user growth below expectations. In a letter to shareholders, the company confirmed that it wasn't growing as fast as it wanted to. "We grew by 1.7 million members in Q2 finishing with over 83 million members. This is below our forecast of 2.5 million net new members and our prior year Q2 net additions of 3.3 million," the company wrote. Netflix largely blamed the loss on moving so-called grandfathered users (subscribers who were still on older, cheaper price plans) to the updated plans. "We think some members perceived the news...

  • Showmax celebrates 10 million views – what about user figures?

    The streaming video landscape has been heating up over the past year, as several services battle it out for supremacy in South Africa. Global king Netflix and SA's own Showmax are atop of the pile though, and now, the Naspers-backed service has revealed some interesting news. In a blog post early today, Showmax announced that it passed the ten million view mark. "Earlier this month, the cumulative number of TV shows and movies watched by ShowMax customers exceeded 10 million. In total, more than five million hours of content have been viewed, the equivalent of more than 500 years if played back-to-back," the...

  • African VOD landscape heats up as TRACE buys Buni.tv

    Local content is a big plus for many video platforms, with pan-African video-on-demand (VOD) service Buni.tv being one of the more notable offerings on the continent. Now, as it prepares for the launch of its own video platform later this year, French broadcaster TRACE TV has announced that it acquired Buni.tv. Buni.tv was launched in 2012 and stands out as one of the three largest VOD platforms in Africa, along with Iroko TV and ShowMax, TRACE claimed in a press statement. "TRACE and Buni.tv share the same strategic vision in that we believe that VOD is the future of television," said TRACE CEO Olivier Laouchez. "We...