Yesterday, US-based video-on-demand (VOD) streaming platform, Netflix opened a dedicated Twitter account for Nigerians — @NetflixNaija.
The handle posted a tweet hinting at what this may mean. It includes a picture of producers, directors, and veteran actors and actresses from the country’s movie industry, Nollywood.
N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood. N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you're looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly…hello, Nigeria! pic.twitter.com/js8z3LIyM3
— Netflix Nigeria (@NetflixNaija) February 25, 2020
“N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood. N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you’re looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly…hello, Nigeria!” it said.
This is coming at the back of Netflix’s latest move to allow subscription payments in local currencies for Nigeria and Kenya.
As people try to get a grasp of what this may mean for its teeming users in the country, reactions have trailed the announcement.
While some opined that the tweeted image was missing some significant personalities, others advocated for the inclusion of some old Nollywood movies on the platform.
When are you engaging Chief Tunde Kelani?
It would be nice to watch all the Òpómúléró classics on Netflix again.
Think about it
— M (@mokarios) February 25, 2020
Where is Omotola Ekehinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Jim Iyke, etc… Y'all should purchase the rights of old movies. Aki and Pawpaw movies, Mr Ibu Movies, Sam Loco Efe (Legend) movies, Igodo, things fall apart, old living in bondage, isakaba, Karashika, Hanks Anuku movies etc…
— 𝘼. 𝙄. 𝙈. 👨🏽🚀 𓃵 (@AimThaMachine_) February 25, 2020
And others, who hoped that Netflix might be interested in bringing Nigerians onboard its team, indicated their interests.
@NetflixNaija, @Im_a_MARVEL does excellent 3-way translations from English, French and Yoruba.
She's got extensive experience working in Nollywood and delivers within short deadlines.
Please engage her on some of your projects.
— Tunde Ajayi (@thetundeajayi) February 25, 2020
While these are only speculations, let’s consider other possibilities.
For one, this could translate to more features like Lionheart, a movie directed by Genevieve Inaji, which was acquired by Netflix to be an original on the platform. This was a way of fulfilling its promise to invest massively in the African film industry.
In another sense, it may be a cue for onboarding more local content options available for Nigerians.
Fun Fact: At the moment, there are less than 50 Nollywood movies that have made it to Netflix among the myriad of contents on the platform.
Aside from that, there are also speculations that the global streaming giant may decide to create series from existing content.
However, this does not rule out the likelihood of using this to ramp up its competition against a local content streaming platform like IROKtv.
Whatever the case, it appears the African market has been favourable for the VOD platform and investing more in one of its major players, Nigeria, seems like a timely move.
Ultimately, we suspect that the outcome will be mainly measured by its influence on Nigerians viewership statistics.