With Netflix announcing last month that it will be entering the African market in 2016, Nigeria’s iROKOTV is now upping the ante with the announcement of $19 million in deals.
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While Netflix, an online video streaming service, is continuing to keep the details of their launch in Africa mostly under lock and key — barring the confirmation that South Africa will be one of the 190 countries it will expand to — iROKO, a leading online TV and film distributor, says it is looking to compete with Netflix by focusing on “local content.”
Jason Njoku, iROKO founder, says, “We’re taking Nollywood content to Africa.
“We have plans to dub content into French, Swahili, Zulu. So, we’ll stand apart from Netflix in terms of localisation of content. We are going narrow and deep into local content.”
Njoku also said iROKO welcomes Netflix’s presence on the continent, because Netflix’s focus on Africa — along with Starbucks, Facebook, and Uber — further underscores the continent as the priority for international business.
“…Netflix entering into the African market is really exciting, as it reveals the huge potential of the market. For us, we’re flattered to be mentioned in the same breath as them,” Njoku said.
TechCrunch further explains why Africa is increasingly becoming a “priority” for businesses, such as Netflix:
A number of factors are shifting Africa’s priority for big global businesses. The Cliff’s notes version goes like this: record FDI, diversifying economies, and modernizing infrastructure are linking to one of the world’s fastest growing consumer markets expected to spend $2 trillion annually by 2020.
Whether Netflix’s move [in to Africa] was driven by hard analysis or to simply fill in more red on its global map, Africa’s business and demographic trends create a compelling case for VOD. Increasingly, the continent’s expanding consumer spending is going digital–a portion of it to purchase creative content and VOD capable devices.
For iROKO’s part, this year alone, it plans to create at least 300 hours of original programming and double those hours in just two years.