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Netflix and Nigerian Movies - What Chance Of Success?

The entertainment industry is a very vibrant one. Products and services that were recently discovered and introduced usually become popular within months. It is heavily dependent on technological developments and nobody knows that will the next big thing be. Take for example the casino industry, nobody was able to predict that casinos would move online. Nowadays, brick and mortar casinos are either receiving only slightly more revenues, or are stagnating, but online casinos are definitely flourishing. Online casinos have become extremely popular in Africa, especially in countries like Nigeria and Kenya, but also South Africa and as a result there are a lot of sites focused on gambling in Africa, where you can find useful and reliable information on African online casinos, what they offer and how trustworthy are they. Another example is the film industry. Ever since the middle of the first decade of this century, there have been a lot more Nigerian films then before.

Netflix Becomes Available
But, it is not only the Nigerian film industry that has change. The whole attitude to watching films changed as well. Ten years ago we were still buying or renting DVDs and CDs and the battle against piracy was mainly consisted of confiscating and destroying pirated copies. Nowadays, people watch films more often via services such as Netflix and the battle against piracy is also taking place online. This year it was announced that Netflix will become available in Nigeria. iRoko TV has been named the ‘Netflix of Africa’, but now the real Netflix is actually here. A lot of people were sceptical about the possibilities and chances of success of Netflix in Nigeria. Firstly because Netflix didn’t seem to offer a lot of content that would be appealing to Nigerian viewers and secondly because many doubted that Nigerians will pay 2,200 naira or more to watch films.

Can It Offer What Nigerians Are Looking for?
Netflix started a global campaign and it announced its presence in many countries throughout the world at the beginning of this year. It is currently available almost everywhere and its CEO, Hastings, already stated that the plan is not only to become a global player, and be present everywhere, but to become a dominant provider of streaming films and series. It should be noted that it was only in 2010 that Netflix became available in Canada. Heisting also stated that Netflix will maintain a strong presence on the African market. iRoko TV founder quickly responded claiming that Netflix will stand no chance in Nigeria, as most of the population is looking for Nollywood content which Netflix doesn’t provide and that it would be too expensive, mostly because of data charges. He was the only one with an opinion that Netflix would be used only by a small fraction of Nigeria’s growing population.

The Cost and Speed of Internet Are still a Problem
It is obvious that the internet connection in most of Nigeria isn’t fast enough and reliable enough. On the top of that it is quite expensive too. But it doesn’t mean that this situation will last forever. Internet will surely become a lot cheaper very soon. Moreover, Netflix will surely purchase a lot of Nollywood content and offer primarily Nigerian films, but also Hollywood and other international hits and classics. That way, Netflix can become more competitive than local services. Moreover, Netflix may even become a platform for popularisation of Nigerian cinema throughout Africa, but also worldwide.

There’s a Future for Netflix in Nigeria
It is difficult to predict the future of Netflix in Nigeria at this point. It all depends on how determined the company is to establish itself on the market. Knowing that this is a developing branch in Africa and the demand for film and series streaming will increase, while the internet package prices are expected to be dropping, Netflix has a huge potential. They would have to stream more Nigerian films if they want to succeed, but ultimately it is entirely up to Netflix, it depends on the line they take in the near future.