By 2026 Netflix, Disney+ and Showmax will be Africa's top video streamers - report

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  • There's a new report from Digital TV Research projects suggesting video streaming services will triple in the next five years.
  • It is estimated that there will be 15.06 million video-streaming subscribers in Africa by 2026.
  • It is further predicted that Netflix, Disney+ and Showmax will rank as the top 3 streamer services.

Just five years from now, the latest estimates predict that there will be 15.06 million video-streaming subscribers in Africa by 2026 – led by South Africa and Nigeria – with Netflix, Disney+ and Showmax that will rank as the top 3 streamer services.

New research from the business intelligence company Digital TV Research projects that video streaming subscribers in Africa will almost triple with surging growth as consumers sign up for over-the-top (OTT) video services in conjunction with traditional direct-to-home (DTH) satellite pay-TV services or abandon satellite TV in favour of streaming.

The current 5.11 million video streaming users making use of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services in Africa by the end of 2021 is set to increase threefold in just five years to an estimated 15.06 million users by 2026, according to Digital TV Research.

South Africa and Nigeria are leading the way in video streaming adoption in sub-Saharan Africa and will each account for a whopping 2.3 million of these additional 10 million new subscribers by 2026. These will be the only two African countries that each have more than one million video-streaming subscribers.

Users in South Africa already have a wide – and growing – choice of global and localised SVOD services, ranging from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and MultiChoice's Showmax, to VIU, Vodacom Video Play, eVOD, Acorn TV, BritBox SA and others.

Disney is set to launch its Disney+ in mid-2022 in South Africa, with WarnerMedia's HBO Max, Paramount+ from ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal's Peacock, Discovery+ that have not yet announced any launch dates.

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In Africa, projections indicate that Netflix will dominate as the number one video streamer in terms of subscribers, followed by Disney+ and then Showmax that is bundled by MultiChoice.

According to the research, Netflix alone will account for more than half of all video streaming subscriptions by the end of 2021, but this 51% share or 2.61 million subscribers by the end of 2021 will diminish to a share of 39% and 5.84 million subscribers by 2026.

Although Disney+ is only launching around June 2022 and just in South Africa, Digital TV Research predicts that its subscriber base will quickly grow to 2.17 million subscribers by 2026.

MultiChoice's Showmax is currently in second place, will fall to third place and is predicted to increase its base from an estimated 861 000 subscribers by the end of 2021 to 2.12 million by 2026.

Amazon Prime Video will be in fourth place by 2026 and will grow from 575 000 subscribers at the end of 2021 to 1.93 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. Apple TV+ is projected to increase its subscriber base in Africa from 121 000 to 304 000 subscribers.

"The selective launch plans from some global platforms work in favour of regional players such as Showmax and MyCanal," says Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

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