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Streaming apps in SA you might not know exist - and they’re free

Streaming content in South Africa has gained popularity by introducing new video services and the decrease in the cost of data. Picture: Tracey Adams

Streaming content in South Africa has gained popularity by introducing new video services and the decrease in the cost of data. Picture: Tracey Adams

Published Jun 8, 2022

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As the streaming wars intensify with the introduction of new services and, of course, content -those willing to fork out subscription fees are spoilt for choice.

Still, for those that are not or might not be able to afford the exorbitant prices attached to such, there are a few streaming services available for your smartphone or smart TV.

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Streaming content in South Africa has gained popularity by introducing new video services and the decrease in the cost of data thanks to local networks. For many years, streaming was limited to those with an uncapped internet connection or WiFi. Still, since then, lower tariff pricing has made access to such services more available.

However, today’s streaming services fetch high prices for premium entertainment.

While many have made the migration to digital from the traditional consumption of video content through free-to-air channels and paid satellite services like DStv, the latter of which has been battered for years for the high cost.

Streaming services like Netflix and Showmax entered the market to offer viewers more selection at a fraction of the cost. Despite this, IOL recently reported the cost of owning all services rivals that of previously popular paid services when coupled with a decent unlimited data plan.

A decent internet line sufficient for around four users can cost upward of R700, whether fibre or LTE. Meanwhile, the total of premium subscription packages from Netflix, Showmax, Prime Video, and Disney+ will fetch a price tag of R622 without an internet connection and, when coupled with the data cost, exceed the cost of digital TV subscriptions.

Thankfully a range of free streaming apps offer hours of entertainment without a paid subscription. Here’s a list of some of these apps available for iOS and Android users :

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Plex

Plex has been around for several years as a global media streaming service and today is available on most apps with a wide variety of free-to-stream content. Plex offers movies, tv shows, sports, and music and provides the ability to steam personal media libraries.

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Red Bull TV

Adrenaline junkies eat your heart out! The energy drink branded streaming service, the Red Bull TV app, allows free streaming of live events, films, and shows and offers offline streaming availability.

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Showmax

Yes, it is a paid service with one of the most expensive streaming packages in the Showmax Pro version, which offers sport. Still, Showmax does provide a free version of its service.

After downloading and installing the app on your smartphone, once you tap ‘more’ in the menu icon and switch to free mode, you’ll be redirected to a list of free content.

Kodi

For nearly two decades, Kodi was built as free opened-source software, originally by Microsoft for the Xbox gaming console. Today the Kodi app plays home to a range of free content that can be streamed to smartphones or smart TV.

Twitch

In recent years, the streaming of gamers’ commentary while in-play has gained popularity, especially among younger audiences, thanks to Twitch. The Twitch app will allow users to watch games, follow new channels, and chat with other players.

eVOD

It was free-to-air. Now its free-to-stream - the eVOD or ‘e Video on Demand’ app offers many local favourites available to stream, based on the first free-to-air TV channel after the SABC.

While there is a paid subscription option, the app provides thousands of hours of free content.

IOL BUSINESS

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