In case you've been living under a rock, Netflix now works in Nigeria and a host of other African countries. The news has been met with mixed reactions from Nigerians, with some predicting the potential downfall of local alternatives like DSTV and iROKOtv.
In a blog post responding to the naysayers, iROKO CEO, Jason Njoku has dispelled the claims:
I use Netflix pretty much every week. My wife uses it pretty much every week. I have been a subscriber since 2012 and have never churned out. It’s amazing. I have blogged and generally been smitten by the company and their internet style market share grab. Where possible, I even try to emulate it. But Netflix isn't irokotv. irokotv is irokotv.
But as I have mentioned before, there is only one Netflix of Africa. And that is Netflix. Why? People fail to remember that Netflix is an 18 year old company. 18 years they have been refining their skills at getting people to subscribe for content. They are just awesome at it. But Africa is a little different.
He does have a point. iROKOtv is arguably the largest online repository of Nollywood movies in the world, earning it the self-acclaimed title, 'Home of Nollywood'. What iROKO offers is an entirely different value proposition than Netflix. In fact, most of the Nollywood content you will find on Netflix is licensed from, you guessed right, iROKOtv.
Folk in the US and UK ( the top 2 Netflix markets) have been happy to pay YoY for the little service we provide.Building subscription business’ are hard. Heck we are only 4 years old. So why people think we will suddenly die now they are in Nigeria is totally beyond me.