Showmax is a subscription video-on-demand service that offers unlimited access to over 35, 000 local and international series episodes, movies, kids’ shows and documentaries on any internet-connected device.
Showmax has partnered with companies like Safaricom to make getting Showmax easier in Kenya. As a result, Safaricom subscribers are not only able to try out Showmax for an entire month but get a voucher for a further three months if they pay for a voucher worth only Kshs 250 (whereas they would pay Kshs 2,640 for a similar period under normal circumstances).
I have been trying out Showmax for quite some time and here’s why I think you should take advantage of the offer and get to see for yourself the content on offer on Showmax’s platform:
1. To be on the driving seat of the new stuff
Mr Robot, the hit geek television series, just premiered in the United States on October 11th. It’s already available on Showmax for your watching pleasure. Normally, fans of shows like Mr Robot outside the US have to wait for ages for them to be available for viewing in their countries. Since the anxiety is almost always killing and the world wide web is dark and full of spoilers, we resort to using unorthodox means to access the content we so badly want to watch. Other subscription-based video streaming services even go ahead and release highly anticipated shows but lock them to some users. More often than not, those of us in places like Kenya fall culprit to such content geo-restrictions which is usually informed by the complex content licensing procedures.
In a first, Showmax streamed live the Floyd Mayweather Jr v Conor McGregor “Money Fight” in late August.
2. Game of Thrones
Whether you watch Game of Thrones or not, the happenings in Westeros and Essos, the fictional continents on which the show is set, will somehow find themselves into your life. This will be either through that noisy work colleague who can’t stop marveling at Daenerys Targaryen’s beauty or her fling with the King in the North or the Game of Thrones merchandise – hoodies, t-shirts etc- that you will encounter when you are out and about or the many references to King Joffrey’s cruelty since the show is a big part of popular culture right now. For the Game of Thrones fans, every time those Ollena Tyrell (RIP) hangovers come, reach for the smartphone in your pocket and get your daily fix.
It is not just Game of Thrones that Showmax has to offer as far as content from the Home Box Office (HBO) is concerned. For those worried that mankind’s future is bleak, they can get a much bigger dose of those scary fantasies by watching Westworld which is based in a future where there will be no boundaries that technology won’t be able to push. If you thought that Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence algorithms going rogue and developing their own language was scary, after watching Westworld, you will think again.
If you’re into the mafia stuff then the late James Gandolfini and his “family” are all you need to spice up any part of your day or weekend. The Sopranos, one of the greatest television shows of all time, stretches on for five seasons and you are able to watch it all plus many others for the price of 5 DVDs (if you opted to drop by your DVD guy in the neighbourhood instead).
The Sopranos, Westworld and Game of Thrones are just three titles that I happen to like. There are over 30 other HBO productions on Showmax.
3. It’s affordable
Don’t believe that? Here’s what the competition charges:
- Netflix (basic): $7.99 per month
- Netflix (standard): $9.99 per month
- Netflix (premium): $11.99 per month for premium
- Amazon Prime Video (introductory offer): $2.99
- Amazon Prime Video (after introductory offer has expired): $5.99 per month
- iFlix: $2.60 per month
Here’s what Showmax is offering at the moment:
- One month (30 days) free trial for new Safaricom users
- 3 months (90 days) for the price of below what they’d normally charge for one month, Kshs 250, when paid via M-PESA (available for a limited time) for both new subscribers (who have just completed their 1-month trial) as well as existing Showmax subscribers.
Of course, it is worth noting that once the 120-day grace period is over one will revert to Showmax’s standard subscription rates where the premium package costs Kshs 880 per month.
Showmax’s strength here is that it charges subscribers in Kenya shillings unlike most of the competition (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc) who do so in foreign currency which is subject to fluctuations.
4. It’s easy to sign up for and pay as well
One only needs to head over to showmax.com, sign up with a desired username and password and they are good to go. Not much else. Claiming your vouchers is super-easy, too.
How to claim your 30-day free trial voucher for new Safaricom subscribers:
- Dial *400*3# and select Showmax.
- On Showmax menu, select option 1 for 30 days free trial.
- Click on the activation link received from Showmax.
- Sign up to redeem your voucher on Showmax website.
- Download the Showmax app, sign in and start watching. Easy.
Once your 30 days have expired, it’s time to claim your voucher for Kshs 250 for three months. Here’s how:
- Go to www.showmax.com and sign up with your email and create a password.
- You will be asked to enter your phone number: enter the phone number you use to make M-Pesa transactions.
- In the payment section on the Showmax website, select M-Pesa.
- You will now need to make an M-Pesa payment using your Safaricom line by going to M-Pesa then Paybill.
- Enter Business number: 852552
- Enter your mobile number as your account number.
- Enter the total amount: Kshs 250.
- Complete your transaction on your phone.
- Wait for your confirmation SMS from M-Pesa.
- Then click on the “validate M-Pesa” button on the bottom right corner of the website.
- You are now ready to enjoy three months’ access to the best shows on Showmax for only Kshs 250!
If you’re already a Showmax subscriber, all you need to do to get three months for Kshs 250 is change your payment method to M-Pesa by clicking on the arrow next to your profile. Click on Manage Account and then Manage Subscription, and finally Purchase Subscription. Then select M-Pesa as your payment method and follow the steps above.
5. Content is downloadable for easy later offline viewing
Showmax allows subscribers to download up to 25 pieces of content (TV shows, movies etc) for offline viewing. This is great when you’re trying to save up on your valued data bundles. I watch all content when I am on Wi-Fi at home or at work. As such, this is great if I am embarking on one of my long cross-county road trips. I can download a few episodes of something like, say, Suits, and be good to go. At face value, 25 pieces of content may seem little but just think for a moment: that’s an entire 10-episode series, 10 movies and 5 documentaries. Good luck consuming all that in a short while.
6. Smart TV not needed
Smart TVs are basically television sets that can automatically connect to available networks to facilitate access to the internet without the need of any other accompanying device like a media streaming device (Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick, Google Chromecast, Apple TV or the popular Android-powered set-top boxes). Such TVs have been around for a while. Since to access Showmax one needs access to the internet, smart TVs are well-positioned to take advantage of this. I use the Showmax application on my LG smart TV and it’s perfect.
However, while this is ideal, smart TVs don’t come cheap. As such, they could be beyond the reach of many. That doesn’t mean that, as a result, users are locked out of accessing video on demand services like Showmax. You can get a media streaming device if your TV set lacks the ability to connect to the internet either wirelessly or through a wired connection. How do you do that? Easy, grab a HDMI cable and plug it into your computer and get going. Or you can get a media streaming device.
7. Simultaneous viewing on two devices
Showmax is available on multiple devices spanning across various platforms. iPhones, our favoured Android devices, smart TVs and even gaming consoles, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re using, you’re covered.
8. It’s possible to use two devices at the same time
Showmax lets users log in to up two devices using the same account.
“Showmax can be enjoyed on two smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops or smart TVs at the same time using only one account, and each account can have up to five authorised devices registered to it. So you can binge on the box set of Desperate Housewives while the kids get their fill of Paw Patrol, My Little Pony and the Disney series that are due to hit the platform later in October.”