5 December 2018

Nigeria: U.S.'s Netflix to Invest in Original African Content

Global streaming giant, Netflix has announced plans to invest in more African content in 2019.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the media company, which is available in 190 countries including Nigeria, has about 137 million subscribers globally.

Speaking at Content London conference, Erik Barmack, Netflix's vice president of international originals, said the company is "in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa," according to Quartz Africa.

Barmack added that Netflix will "definitely" commission series from Africa in 2019 and predicted that within the coming years, half of the 10 most-watched shows will come from outside the US.

This move would place Netflix, in competition with cable giant, Multichoice and Nigerian streaming services including Jason Njoku's Iroko TV.

Meanwhile, in September, Netflix introduced its benchmark eight billion dollars original production budget in Nollywood with the worldwide rights purchase of Genevieve Nnaji's directorial debut, 'Lion Heart'.

The comedy is the company's first original film from Nigeria and stars industry veterans including Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie and Onyeka Onwenu.

Netflix has previously licensed Nollywood flicks including romantic comedy 'The Wedding Party' as well as crime thriller, 'October 1' but only after both had been screened in local cinemas.

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