South Africans binge-watch over holidays

South Africans collectively watched over 100 years worth of video on Showmax over the holiday season.

This resulted in a 30% increase in viewing hours compared to the average seen in prior months, Showmax reported as South Africans returned to work this week.

“More people than ever before got on the streaming bandwagon, and those who were watching streamed more than usual,” a spokesman for MultiChoice’s streaming platform said in a statement.

Showmax reported that there was a major uptick in binge-watching. “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!”

  • Showmax expected Boxing Day would see a peak in viewership, but this “maxed out” on Sunday, 29 December.
  • Evenings were the most popular time to watch TV, but interestingly the peak over the holidays was earlier than the rest of the year, hitting a high at 6pm.
  • The most-watched local genre was reality TV “with a particularly strong showing from The Real Housewives of Johannesburg”.
  • In terms of sport, more people watched Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 on 27 December than any other game.
  • Comedy, medical drama and crime drama were all really popular binge destinations with people watching multiple successive episodes.  
  • The River, Binnelanders and Getroud Met Rugby stood out in terms of the number of successive episodes watched. 
  • 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%,” Showmax said. 

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
  • Younger
  • HBO’s Big Little Lies
  • Vikings
  • Billions
  • The Girlfriend Experience
  • Siren
  • The Handmaid’s Tale

10 most-streamed South African series on Showmax

  • Trackers
  • 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