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The dominant streaming company announced its presence via its newly created Twitter handle, NetflixNaija, while also detailing plans to commission original content by partnering with local creatives and investing in the space. The streamer has ordered an as-yet-untitled six-part series that will be directed by local directors Akin Omotoso, Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi. This is a welcome development for the industry. Apart from the visibility and increased viewership, Netflix also gives Nigerian filmmakers a strategy to combat the adverse impact of piracy in Nigeria. It’s not the first attempt at this. An indigenous streaming platform, IrokoTV, established in 2011, has been using streaming to distribute Nollywood content while staying out of the reach of pirates. Nollywood is the second largest employer after agriculture in Nigeria. In 2014, Nollywood was worth $5.1 billion and made up 5% of Nigeria’s GDP. Although the first Nigerian films were made in the 1960s it wasn’t until the 1990s and 2000s that the industry blossomed as filmmakers took advantage of digital technology and internet distribution. Nollywood filmmakers have largely run an independent model for over three decades, producing about 50 movies a week.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION