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Choosing the best streaming platform
07/06/22
laptop screen showing different streaming platform logos

There are so many different streaming platforms available today so choosing the best one can be a bit of a challenge. What’s the best streaming platform available for South African viewers? Are they all the same or are there some important differences you need to consider? We’re going to look at what’s available to South African homes to help you choose the best one for you. 

On-demand online TV shows and movies have become extremely popular as a source of entertainment. These platforms are a great alternative to satellite or cable TV and usually a lot cheaper. By comparing the cost, content and benefits of the different streaming platforms, we hope to give you an idea of which one is the best for you and your household. WonderNet offers a home fibre package called The Uninterrupted Streamer, which is specifically designed for binge watching your favourite shows online.

Streaming Platform Option 1: Netflix

With around 225 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix is one of the most popular streaming platforms currently available. Since 2016, South Africans have had access to local and international shows at affordable monthly rates. Netflix has a huge library of on-demand TV series and movies from internationally renowned production houses, such as HBO and Walt Disney. 

The platform also produces many of its own shows and films. Netflix has a large number of Oscar-winning movies and well-known classics. Viewers can watch on their laptops, smartphones, tablets or smart TVs from R49 to R199 per month, depending on the number of users connected to the account.

Streaming Platform Option 2: Amazon Prime Video

Although Amazon Prime video has 205 million subscribers worldwide, the selection of content isn’t as large as what Netflix has to offer. Amazon focuses more on U.S. productions and doesn’t offer much in the way of South African content. That being said, there are still many blockbusters and TV shows that aren’t available elsewhere. Costing R79 per month, viewers can connect from any smart device. 

Streaming Platform Option 3: Disney+

Disney+ was recently launched in South Africa in May 2022. At R199 per month, this streaming platform is a bit expensive but has high-quality shows and movies that are loved by the whole family. South African homes now have access to new Disney content and also older shows and movies. 

Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic and the Star Wars franchise slowly moved away from other streaming platforms and many great shows and movies from these producers are now exclusively available on Disney+. 

Streaming Platform Option 4: Showmax

Showmax is a great option for sports lovers. This platform doesn’t have as many international films and shows compared to other streaming services, but is great for watching live sport and local South African content. From just R39 for a basic package, Showmax is one of the cheapest streaming services, but if you are interested in watching live sport then you’ll need to sign up for Showmax Pro which costs R255 a month. 

Social Streaming Platforms

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Showmax are one kind of streaming service where you can watch films and shows at any time of day or night. Another kind of streaming is social media streaming where you can watch uploaded content or live videos in real time. There are a number of social streaming platforms. Let’s have a look at the most popular ones and what you can expect from each. 

Social Streaming Option 1: YouTube

YouTube has over two billion users and around 800 million videos, making it one of the most popular video streaming platforms of all time. After Google, it is the world’s second most visited website. YouTube offers a wealth of information about basically any topic you can think of. 

The free version of YouTube gives you access to all this content, but you have to suffer through endless advertising. If you use YouTube a lot, then YouTube Premium is definitely worth it. For the ad-free YouTube experience, you’ll pay R71.99 a month for a single user and R109.99 for a family plan of 6 users. 

Social Streaming Option 2: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not well known as being a streaming platform, but this work-related networking site offers free live streams and videos from professionals, brands and influencers. Not everybody on LinkedIn can go live. You need to be approved by the site to stream live videos and this helps to maintain a certain level of quality. You can watch tutorials, seminars and participate in webinars. Live streams are free and great for professional development and academic topics of interest.

Social Streaming Option 3: Twitch

You may not have heard of Twitch, but for 16 to 34 years olds it is an extremely popular social streaming platform. This platform is mostly known among gamers. Almost 6 billions hours were watched in the third quarter of 2021. Apart from e-sports and amateur gaming, Twitch also has music, sports (e.g. yoga classes), and other live streams (e.g. animal webcams). It is free to use and available on smart phones and computers. 

Social Streaming Option 4: TikTok Live

This social streaming platform is mostly popular among Gen Z’s (under 25s). TikTok Live shows content from accounts that have more than 1000 followers. Short clips of less than a minute are the most common and a great place to watch influencers expressing themselves. These free live streams generally revolve around strange or usual content, Q&A sessions, fashion and health or social media challenges.

Do streaming platforms use a lot of internet?

Whether you are interested in streaming movies and shows or social media streaming, you’ll need a good internet connection. Streaming videos takes up quite a lot of bandwidth, especially if you would like a good quality picture. You’ll need a 10 to 20MB speed internet connection for HD streaming. If you have more than one person in your household, then a 20MB connection is the minimum you should get. 

Fibre internet provides the best video streaming experience. With fibre, your internet connection is more stable and comes with faster speeds. This is perfect for streaming live content or watching online series or films. For more information about our fibre offerings or to get a quote for an internet upgrade, please contact us today or check if we’re connected to your address

WonderNet brings affordable broadband internet to South African homes. We work alongside leading fibre network providers to maximise our reach and to offer fast, reliable and secure internet connectivity to your home. We are owned by SEACOM; one of Africa’s top information and communications technology (ICT) companies with an expansive network of subsea cables, landlines and fibre connections. WonderNet strives to offer the best customer service in the country. We will go above and beyond to ensure that our customers are satisfied with their internet access.

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