Streaming platform Showmax finally transitioned to it’s new home and introduced new packages. The Multichoice owned platform with about 22 million subscribers in Africa has a new platform that has been receiving not so good reviews from across the continent.
Last year, Showmax announced a revamp and new partnerships with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky. The promise at the time was high quality content that would captivate its subscribers. However, the first hurdle users met was the lack of Mobile Money payment option.
In Kenya for example, M-pesa holds about 96% of the mobile money market and a significant percentage of Kenya’s GDP is transacted on the platform. Therefore, lack of M-pesa integration is a great inconvenience to users and puts the streaming platform at risk of losing subscriptions.
One tech commentator wrote this on his LinkedIn page,”
“Apparently, though, you can pay by USSD but how clunky is that?! I am sure their customer service department is drowning! This is Kenya, we pay with MPesa! SMH”
Another Kenyan subscriber waved her goodbye saying she was moving to a rival platform.
“It was very easy to get @ShowmaxKenya using Mpesa and all that. They’ve removed those payment options, removed channels, and made things harder. So you know what? Its never that serious. I’ll stick to @netflix. Wacha ikae! It can never be that serious. Cheers.” She wrote on X.
Showmax Hurried Launch
However, Showmax appears to have anticipated the backlash and Showmax Operating Officer, Joe Heshu was quoted in a press article where he mentioned the company’s strong relationship with Safaricom.”We have worked with them to integrate M-pesa Via USSD and will also continue that process until M-pesa is broadly available,” he stated.
He appears to hint that Mpesa will duly be integrated in the future, though the timeline has not been shared. This could mean that the new platform was launched to meet a deadline but was not fully market ready.
Showmax has also confirmed that the new app is not backward compatible, hence, you might find it can’t work on your TV or old mobile device.
What points more towards a hurried launch is the poor User Experience (UX). Subscribers have been giving their opinions of troubles they have had since the migration.
“The new Showmax app feels like a serious case of PR over substance. Not only do you lose your entire viewing history, but the library is significantly smaller and the UX leaves much to be desired.” Wrote a gentleman in South Africa.
His troubles are not unique to him as another lady in Kenya complained of not being able to find a show she had been watching. Another subscriber has lamented over login issues.
“I paid for showmax @ShowmaxKenya Ksh. 700, a few days ago. Upon trying to login, everything is invalid. Invalid email, invalid password. I was told they have a new app and now the app doesn’t work on my TV even after I subscribed!! Showmax are thieves!!!”
Perhaps, this aptly captures the current mood of most subscribers from a post on X as well.
“Showmax really sat in a boardroom and brainstormed ways to inconvenience and annoy subscribers and that’s how this new app was born”
The good thing is Showmax can promptly work on the numerous reviews and roll out updates to make the platform the streaming home many are accustomed to. These troubles come at a time when Showmax parent company could be bought fully by Vivendi. If approved, this would make it part of Africa’s biggest media platform.
How to Pay for Showmax in Kenya Via USSD
While we wait for ShowMax to properly integrate with M-Pesa, you can still pay. Steps to pay via Mpesa USSD code are:
1. Dial *375#
2. Selecta a Showmax plan you would like
3. Confirm the purchase
4. Type your M-Pesa PIN
5. Upon payment success, you will receive an SMS containing the Showmax subscription voucher code.
6. Sign in OR create your Showmax account