Since the 27th of March 2020 – the beginning of the national lockdown in South Africa – streaming services like MultichoiceNetflix and Showmax saw a surge in subscribers and viewership. The reason for the surge is that people were spending considerably more time at home; working from home and practising social distancing.

In South Africa, Showmax and Netflix are the two biggest streaming services in the country. Now that we’re in level 1 lockdown and the regulations are less stringent, you probably won’t be consuming as much content and might want to get rid of one of the streaming platforms. Or if you’re new to the streaming world and need help deciding which platform is best for you, we’re conducting a Netflix and Showmax comparison.


Platform Price Streaming Quality Number of Profiles
Showmax Free 14 day trial

Included in Premium DSTV Subscription

DSTV Compact + Compact Plus – R49.00 pm

Other – R99 pm (or $7 on Paypal)


You can choose your streaming quality; high, medium or low.


Showmax also allows you to calculate the amount of data you will use or need.

Allows 5 different devices to be used on one account, but only two at the same time.


You can create up to 11 profiles for the different people who will be using the account.

Netflix Free 30 day trial

Basic (standard definition / 1 screen) – R99pm

Standard (high definition / 2 screens) – R139pm

Premium (ultra-high definition / 4 screens) – R169pm


You can choose your streaming quality; high, medium, low or auto. Allows up to 6 devices to be used on one account (2 can be used at the same time or you can choose to upgrade and use 4 at the same time)


You can create up to 5 different profiles on one account.



Platform Downloads Number of Titles to Choose from Payment Options
Showmax You can offline up to 25 titles.


Showmax has over 1000 different titles to choose from. Credit Card

Top Up Voucher



Netflix You can offline up to 100 titles.


Netflix has almost 3000 titles to choose and new movies and series are added regularly. Credit Card

Prepaid Cards


Partners – Vodacom


Both streaming platforms are non-contractual services that you can cancel at any time. Let’s also look at the unique selling points of each streaming platform.

Netflix Unique Selling Points: Why you should get Netflix? 

Netflix has a wide variety of unique content that is exclusive to Netflix subscribers only. Their Netflix Originals are not available on other streaming platforms. Netflix has a lot more American or international content, as opposed to Showmax that boasts more African programming. They also have more content to stream, but because we are in South Africa, we have limited screening rights to certain content.

Showmax Unique Selling Points: Why should you opt for Showmax? 

Showmax has a wealth of African content that Netflix does not have the rights to. If you enjoy local content and already have a DSTV subscription, then Showmax is the service for you.

Subscribing to both these platforms is a feasible option because the content they offer is different – Netflix does not have the local content that Showmax has. And Showmax does not have the Netflix Original content that we love. Both platforms are affordable, especially if you already have a Premium DSTV subscription, then you automatically get access to Showmax. Let us know which is your favourite and why.