There are loads of great gift ideas around for the festive season, but vouchers tend to be the safest fallback option if you just don’t know what to get.
And there are plenty of vouchers for digital services, so we pick a few vouchers you should keep in mind.
These digital goods/services include the Google Play Music All-Access streaming service (for R60 a month), music purchases, game/app purchases and movie purchases/rentals.
The Google Play Store vouchers start at R150, making it the ideal gift for someone with an Android phone.
Much like Google Play vouchers, iTunes vouchers are available in many physical stores around the country (such as Pick N Pay and Incredible Connection). Additionally, the likes of FNB also allow you to purchase vouchers.
These vouchers allow you to buy/stream/rent music, movies and TV shows as well. Or you can buy apps and games. And yes, the Apple Music streaming service is available as a subscription offering, matching Google’s R60 a month price tag.
The iTunes vouchers start at about R100, which should net the recipient a few games/apps, a movie or a month and a bit of Apple Music.
Know someone with a PlayStation 3, PS4 or PlayStation Vita handheld? Then you can’t really go wrong with a PlayStation Network Gift Card.
There are two types of gift cards here, coming in the form of a PlayStation Plus membership (three months or 12 months) or a monetary voucher (starting at R200). These vouchers are available from the likes of BT Games, Takealot, CNA and more.
The PS Plus membership enables online play on PS4, offers discounted games and delivers free games every month. The monetary voucher is used to purchase games off the PlayStation Network.
If your friend or loved one has an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, then an Xbox Live voucher will be right up their alley.
Much like the PlayStation Network, the Xbox Live vouchers are divided into premium membership (three months or 12 months) and monetary options (starting at R100). You’ll use the premium membership to play online and get free games each month (like PSN as well), while the monetary vouchers are used to purchase games via the service.
These vouchers are also available from stores such as BT Games, Takealot, Raru and others.
You might not know this but PC gaming storefront Steam also has a voucher system in place, so if you’ve got an avid PC gamer in your life, you know what to get them.
Sure, Netflix gift vouchers might not be available at physical stores in South Africa, but you could always just order them off Amazon.
Netflix and Amazon note that it’s “valid only towards the Netflix streaming service (and, in the US only, DVD service) in countries where the service is offered in US dollars”. Fortunately, the service is offered in dollars over here as well.
A user question for physical card delivery points to the vouchers working outside the USA as well, so it should work just fine in South Africa. Of course, you’ll need a solid internet connection (2Mbps to 4Mbps) and a dozen or more gigs if you plan to watch a few hours a week. As for content and features, expect a load of original content (Stranger Things, Daredevil, Narcos), while the recent downloads function is long-overdue as well.
The most readily available video streaming option (in terms of local support) is ShowMax, offering vouchers in South Africa, via the likes of Makro, Pick N Pay and CNA.
The Naspers-backed service offers a decent selection of content (such as Game of Thrones, Vikings and older movies), as well as some data-friendly features (offline viewing and user-selectable quality).
Of course, you’ll need a 2Mbps connection or better and at least 10GB of capped data to actually use ShowMax in any meaningful way.