There are three major entertainment subscription platforms in Kenya: Netflix, Showmax, and Prime Video (Youtube Movies is yet to be available under Youtube Premium). In this article, we will assess and compare the plans, pricings, and offerings from these three giants to determine which of them is the cheapest, or the best option if you’re not inclined to pay for all three. With streaming becoming a significant part of our daily entertainment, it’s crucial to understand what each platform offers and how they stack up against each other in terms of value for money.

The truth of the matter is this: streaming has become very expensive. There’s not a single platform that gives you everything, so you find yourself needing to pay for all platforms to access their diverse content libraries. Our go-to strategy is to pay only when you know something you want to watch is showing on a particular platform.

Paying for Netflix, Showmax, and Prime Video totals over KES 2400 a month. This figure comes from the Netflix Premium plan at KES 1100, a one-off KES 560 Prime Video subscription, and the KES 760 Showmax plan for both mobile and TV. Netflix is the most expensive, with various plans ranging from KES 200 to KES 1100 per month. To experience full 4K streaming and access to four devices simultaneously, you need the premium plan. However, password sharing restrictions limit use to a single household, reducing the option to cost-share between different households.

PlatformPlan NameMonthly Cost (KES)Key Features
NetflixMobile200Mobile-only access, limited quality.
Download on 1 device at a time.
Basic300HD quality, 1 device streaming.
Download on 1 device at a time.
Standard700HD quality, 2 devices streaming simultaneously.
Download on 2 devices at a time.
Household-only password sharing.
Premium11004K quality, 4 devices streaming simultaneously.
Download on 6 devices at a time.
Household-only password sharing.
Prime VideoOne Single Tier560Unlimited access, no restrictions on content quality.
No password sharing controls.
3 devices streaming at once.
ShowmaxMobile Only300Mobile-only access.
One device streaming only.
Both Mobile & TV760HD quality.
2 devices streaming simultaneously.
Pro Mobile Only1050Includes live sports streaming, mobile-only access. One device streaming only.

Prime Video emerges as the cheapest option at KES 560 per month, offering an unrestricted, single-tier service. This plan includes no restrictions on password sharing, no restrictions on content quality, and up to three devices streaming at the same time.

Is Showmax Worth It in 2024? A Comparison with Prime Video & Netflix

Showmax, meanwhile, offers three plans: Showmax for both mobile and TV at KES 760, Showmax Pro Mobile (which includes live sports streaming) at KES 1050, and a mobile-only plan for KES 300. The KES 760 plan allows streaming on two devices simultaneously in HD quality, with a maximum of five devices registered per account. The best plan used to be Showmax Pro which was discontinued for some reason without proper explanation. This was like Showmax Pro Mobile, but also for TVs.

From an overall perspective, Prime Video seems like the best option due to its lack of restrictions. However, it’s important to note that Prime Video plans to introduce ads in the coming weeks, which could affect viewer experience. Netflix is generally perceived as having more mainstream content, but Showmax excels in local content, and Prime Video has been steadily acquiring more African content. Netflix has also increased its focus on local Kenyan shows and movies. Showmax also gives access to HBO content, which is not available locally.

Is Showmax worth it?

So, is Showmax a good deal at 760 shillings a month? It could be, especially if their library aligns with your entertainment preferences. However, Showmax needs to enhance its streaming quality, support 4K, and perhaps reconsider its restrictions on concurrent streams. It is much more expensive than Prime Video while not offering the same quality in streaming. It is also more expensive than Basic and Standard plans from Netflix. Hopefully, the upcoming Showmax re-brand on the Peacock platform will introduce better tiers, better quality and more variety of international shows.

Of the three platforms, it is also important to note that only Showmax has seamless M-Pesa payment integration. Platforms like Netflix and Prime Video still don’t allow direct M-Pesa payments, and you can only pay via card.

What do you think? Which platform do you use, and how much do you pay per month? Your choice might boil down to your content preferences, budget constraints, and tolerance for ads or streaming limitations.


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