WARSAW: The new SVOD platform Showmax was launched in Poland on 15 February 2017 with 172,000 subscribers, which is double than what Netflix had on the Polish market on the same day.
Showmax offers international film and TV series as well as investment in local content including new episodes of Polish hit show Ear of the President / Ucho Prezesa, created by Robert Górski and Kabaret Moralnego Niepokoju. The series became an instant hit with over 27 m views when its four episodes were first aired on Youtube.
Showmax had also teamed up with Polish box office hit director Patryk Vega, who directed a short thriller starring Ewan McGregor, that was the focus point of the launch campaign.
The free trial for Showmax is 14 days, while Netflix offers a month of free content for first time subscribers. Netflix premiered in Poland in January 2016, but while the platform opened with an impressive 337,600 subscribers, after the free trial period, the number of subscribers dropped to 73,000 and according to Gemius/PBI, it rose up to 80,000 on 15 February 2017.
While the initial numbers were not optimistic, the number of people using Netflix in Poland was 385,900 by the end of 2016. "Poles are spending more time watching movies and series online. The group of viewers ready to join the subscription plan is growing. Each service that will introduce high quality content tailored to local needs will have a chance to increase its audience online this Fall," said Emil Pawłowski, an expert from Gemius/PBI.