This graph shows how streaming on Showmax drastically increases as the coronavirus pandemic grows


According to a statement released by Showmax on Wednesday, Covid-19 has "significantly impacted viewing behaviour" on its platform.

Data shows that South Africans are turning to the local video-on-demand service as a helpful escape during the nationwide lockdown which started at midnight on 26 March.

The number of active users on Showmax has increased with 50% while play events have "more than doubled" from peaks before the pandemic.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Showmax would ordinarily see a lull in views on Wednesday and Thursday with views slowly increasing from Friday while peaking on Sunday.

Since 15 March the number of people on the service has maintained the "Sunday peak" and then started rising for six days straight. President Cyril Ramaphosa on 15 March in an address to the nation announced the first drastic measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus which included banning gatherings of more than 100 people

There was then another big jump when lockdown officially started on Friday, 27 March and the upward trend has continued from there.

Even more interesting is "usage" as measured by play events. (A play event is where someone clicks play on a TV show, movie or live channel).

The "Sunday peaks" for play events already started getting higher in late February and by 15 March the number of play events was more than 20% higher than a month earlier (this is measuring peak to peak). From that point onwards, Showmax saw rapid growth, with the peak this past weekend - more than double the peak in viewing events in mid-February.



"We’re in the fortunate position of being able to do something to help people through this period. We’ve added live news and education channels to Showmax using the streaming functionality originally set up for sport," said Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice.

He added: "We’ve also created edutainment content rows to help parents, and we’re even adding yoga and other exercise programming. At the same time, we’re managing our traffic load on mobile networks to make sure internet access isn’t interrupted, and we’ll keep looking for other opportunities to make a difference."

Looking for something to stream today? Check out Channel24's TV review section which is updated daily during lockdown

(Source: Showmax/Channel24/News24)

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