8 January 2020
South Africans win the year-end binge-fest
We’ve done a quick trawl of holiday viewing data to see if we could spot any trends in how people used their downtime. First off, top marks go to South Africa. The nation collectively viewed more than 100 years’ worth of video on Showmax over Christmas and New Year.
More people than ever before got on the streaming bandwagon, and those who were watching streamed more than usual. The net effect was a 30% increase in viewing hours compared to the average seen in previous months.
When did we hit peak couch time? We thought the day after Christmas would see the most people retreating under a duvet to watch TV, but viewing activity actually maxed out on Sunday, 29 December.
What time of the day? It’s no surprise that evenings are the most popular time to watch TV, but interestingly, the peak over the holidays was earlier than we see during the rest of the year, hitting a high at 6pm.
Did people use the holidays to binge more than usual? Oh yes – there was a big jump in bingeing. For our most popular series, once people had locked on they watched on average more than 30 episodes of the same show over the holiday period. The peak binge by a single account was more than 200 episodes of the same show!
The most watched
The most-watched local genre? People can’t get enough of local reality shows, with a particularly strong showing from The Real Housewives of Johannesburg.
Which live sport got the most views? More people watched Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 on 27 December (and all but end City’s title hopes) than any other game.
Which series genres were the most-binged? Comedy, medical drama and crime drama were all really popular binge destinations (people watching multiple successive episodes).
Any other content trends? People watched way more movies than usual, which could be a reflection of having more opportunities to sit still for several hours at a time.
And how do the trends stack up around Africa? South Africans clearly take their leisure time seriously, with average hours per viewer up 21% compared to normal activity, while in Nigeria that increase was just 10%, and in Kenya an even smaller increase of 7%.
Looking back over the year just finished, these were the most viewed series on Showmax in 2019 (in no particular order):
10 most-streamed international series on Showmax
- HBO’s Euphoria
- HBO’s Game of Thrones
- HBO’s Chernobyl
- HBO’s Big Little Lies
- The Girlfriend Experience
- The Handmaid’s Tale
10 most-streamed South African series on Showmax
- The Real Housewives of Johannesburg
- Being Bonang
- The River
- The Queen
- Die Spreeus
- Die Byl
- The Girl From St Agnes
- The Bachelor SA
- Boer Soek ‘n Vrou
In the coming year, Showmax will be ramping up local content starting with The River S3 on 27 January, followed with Lockdown S5 on 30 January, coming exclusively to Showmax.
Hollywood will continue to feature strongly, with Ray Donovan S7 starting 20 January and more blockbusters like A Star is Born and Aquaman for movie fans. Our recently expanded Kids’ selection includes everything from Paw Patrol to Star Wars Resistance. Finally, 2020 will see more top-flight sport, including more football from major local and international leagues, coming live to Showmax.
This January, we’re watching
Original African stories by local talent
The Showmax Original docuseries The Illuminated explores different religious movements in South Africa. Premieres 6 March 2024.
The crime comedy Koek, starring Cindy Swanepoel, now streaming on Showmax, with new episodes every Thursday.
Ekhaya Backpackers S1
Stream the Showmax Original comedy series Ekhaya Backpackers, with new episodes every Thursday.
Cheta M explores the love story between Adanna and Nnanna, young lovers who battle the spiritual and political forces in their way. Stream now, with new episodes Wednesday to Friday.
Stream Tshedza Pictures’s first teen drama, Showmax Original Youngins, with three new episodes every week.
Sadau Sisters S1
Rahma, Zainab, Aisha, and Fatima Sadau pull back the curtain on their family, fame, and lifestyle. Stream now on Showmax.
Stream Afrikaans university drama Wyfie, following four mismatched res roommates, with new weekly episodes.
Catch Me A Killer
Stream the brand-new Showmax Original crime series based on a serial-killer profiler’s memoir. New episodes land every week.
The Mommy Club - back and better!
Red Ink is now streaming
More Mzansi gold
Youngins Season 1 episodes 10-12 recap: Bloodshed
There’s a pregnancy and an abortion in the girls’ dorms, Khaya gets suspended, and his parents are called to a principal’s meeting in episodes 10-12 of Showmax Original Youngins.
20+ addictive South African reality shows to stream
Stream The Real Housewives of Durban, The Mommy Club, Sports Wives, Widows Unveiled and more of South Africa’s best reality shows on Showmax.
The Real Housewives of Durban S4: Zama gets put in the hot seat
In episode 4 of The Real Housewives of Durban S4, the ladies confront Zama during Jojo’s country-themed housewarming. New episodes every Wednesday on Showmax.
Cindy Swanepoel takes the cake in her first Showmax Original
Showmax Original Koek is an Afrikaans crime comedy about a Cape Town housewife who is inadvertently plunged into the criminal underworld.