Subscription services have transformed global entertainment consumption, and South Africa mirrors this trend. This exploration delves into South Africa’s evolving subscription landscape, analysing TV streaming giants, music platforms, and intriguing consumer insights sourced from YouGov, driving this dynamic industry forward.

TV Subscriptions

Dominant Players in South Africa’s TV Business

  • DSTV: South Africa’s TV giant commands a staggering 47.67% of subscribers, maintaining its stronghold as a go-to choice for diverse content offerings.
  • Netflix: Following closely behind with 24.55%, Netflix has carved a significant niche, providing global content alongside local favourites, enticing a substantial user base.
  • Showmax: Securing an 8.16% market share, Showmax stands as a formidable contender, leveraging its localised content library to attract subscribers.

Other contenders like OpenView, Youtube Premium, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video have made inroads but hold limited market representation against these dominant players, signalling a competitive yet concentrated landscape.

Music Streaming Subscriptions

  • Spotify: Leading the rhythm race with a substantial 29.09% paid subscription rate, Spotify’s intuitive interface and extensive music library have solidified its position as the top choice for music enthusiasts in South Africa.
  • Apple Music: Holding a respectable 14.45% market share in paid subscriptions, Apple Music appeals to its dedicated user base, offering seamless integration with Apple devices and an exclusive catalogue of tracks.
  • Youtube Music: Capturing 17.97% of paid subscribers, Youtube Music capitalises on its parent platform’s vast reach, attracting users with its diverse content and video-centric music experience.

Consumer Perception of Subscription Services

In recent data gathered on YouGov, we are exploring how people feel about their subscriptions – such as Netflix, Spotify, and similar services – the results revealed some interesting consumer opinions:

  • Subscription Overload: When asked, “I feel I have too many subscriptions to things (Netflix, Spotify etc.),” 43.73% agreed. It seems that some users are starting to feel overwhelmed by the number of subscriptions they have.
  • Sharing is Caring: As for sharing subscriptions, 49.8% agreed that “It’s more convenient to share a subscription for video and streaming services with other people.” This reveals a growing preference for pooling resources with friends or family.
  • Laid-back Credentials: When it comes to sharing user credentials, 46.05% believe that “Video and music streaming services should not care if I share my user credentials and subscriptions.” This suggests people want a more relaxed approach to who can access a subscription service.
  • More Group Options, Please: A substantial 66.8% of respondents agreed that “Video and music streaming services should offer more group subscriptions.” This means that many are interested in exploring more cost-effective and flexible subscription plans tailored for groups.

In today’s emerging subscription culture, these insights unveil consumer attitudes and preferences that can help shape the future of this thriving market.

Comparing Costs

When it comes to choosing a streaming service in South Africa, cost per title is a crucial deciding factor according to a News24 analysis. Amazon Prime Video swoops in as the most cost-effective option, boasting 1 cent per title for a library vast enough to get lost in. In contrast, Netflix – with a cost of 2 cents per title – continues to be the go-to platform for series lovers, despite a marginally higher price. Conversely, budget-conscious consumers might want to give BritBox and AppleTV+ a miss; these platforms lag behind in affordability, commanding higher costs per title. Ultimately, the best choice hinges on balancing cost and content preference.

Future of Popular Streaming Services in South Africa

In South Africa’s streaming scene, a fierce competition unfolds among key players like Netflix, Showmax, and Amazon Prime Video, as noted in a News24 article. Projections indicate Netflix is poised to maintain its lead, aiming for a staggering 7.44 million subscribers by 2029, while Showmax follows closely with an expected 4.4 million user base. Simultaneously, Amazon Prime Video maintains a steady third place, projected to reach 3.14 million users. These evolving market dynamics hold significant implications for Africa’s streaming industry, with an anticipated surge to 18 million SVOD subscribers across the continent by 2029.


In South Africa, subscription services mirror global trends, prominently showcasing DSTV, Netflix, and Showmax as TV streaming leaders. Spotify leads the music streaming domain, closely followed by Apple Music and Youtube Music. Insights from YouGov highlight the high frequency of subscription overload and a growing preference for shared plans among consumers. Cost analysis favours Amazon Prime Video and Netflix for its affordability. Projections predict Netflix leading with 7.44 million subscribers by 2029. This expected growth reflects changing consumer preferences and growing market competition, ready to drive the industry towards an estimated 18 million subscribers by the same year.