For anyone with foresight, streaming service is most definitely the future of content consumption globally. And with Netflix in Nigeria, the country became a viable market as more players opted in and existing ones were forced to up the ante.
Netflix in Nigeria is a game-changer even though streaming service is still in its infancy in the West African nation. This is due to the relatively high cost of mobile internet connectivity, the Over The Air (OTT) market in general, especially Video on Demand (VoD), which is projected to blow up in the coming years as the cost of accessibility continues to improve.
The music sub-sector of the creative industry already appears to be taking the lead in this regard, possibly due to the ease of production, which ensures that musicians can churn out a record number of songs within a short time frame and duration of music videos. But the movie industry is also picking up, with Netflix in Nigeria enabling more productions.
How they fared in 2021
According to Digital TV Research, Netflix is projected to have ended 2021 with 2.61 million streaming subscribers in Africa and is expected to more than double that to 5.84 million by 2026.
This number will make Netflix the leader in the space on the African continent as the research platform forecasts that subscription by video-on-demand users in Africa would, by 2026, jump to 15.06 million and triple the 5.11 million expected at the end of 2021.
Showmax, owned by South African pay-TV giant MultiChoice comes second with an estimated 861,000 subscribers, and this is projected to reach 2.12 million in another five years.
Since Netflix rarely reveals the number of subscribers outside of the US, it is difficult to get the actual figures per country. A list released by research and data organisation, Comparitech, shows that South Africa is the only African country that made its list. The country sits at number 41 out of 50 with about 152,588 subscribers.
With Malta being the least with an estimate of 30,000 subscribers, it is pretty easy to estimate the numbers of other subscribers not on the list, including Nigeria.
Regardless, however, from its data, it submits that the predominant growth has been in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with this forming a larger and larger chunk of Netflix’s subscriber base.
What the Future Holds for Streaming Services
It is certain movies and music streaming services will grow in the coming years. With tele-density growing by the day and internet services improving in major urban centres across Nigeria and Africa at large, this certainly is the future.
According to Dataxis, the Nigerian video and Over The Air (OTT) market, comprising digital video (TVOD, EST, and SVOD) presents growth potential but remains small in volume and value.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Nigeria is projected to become the world’s fastest-growing entertainment and media market (E&M) with a 12.1 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over a five-year period (2017-2021).
All these show that the streaming service market is just warming up for a big burst across Africa. And this is the vision that founders of the ArisePlay platform are running with and silently giving global giants like Netflix a growing challenge.
The Coming of ArisePlay
Launched in 2020, ArisePlay, a sister brand of ThisDay Newspapers and ARISE news channel owned by business mogul Nduka Obaigbena, is looking to play big in the streaming service segment. Just like Netflix and co, it provides a personalized subscription service that allows members to access movies and TV shows streamed over the internet to any internet-connected TV, smartphone, computers and other devices.
Earlier last year, it announced that it was concluding a $100-million seed funding deal from venture capitalists in a bid to push its streaming services around the world.
To use the ArisePlay service you must have Internet access and a ready device (basically any smartphone device) and subscribe for any of its packages.
A look through its library shows it has a great collection of recent movies in sections such as Action, BlockBuster, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi and many more. It has also considered children with its selection of interesting kids movies.
The minimum connection speed for SD quality is 0.5 Mbps; however, it recommends a faster connection for improved video quality. A download speed of at least 5.0 Mbps per stream is recommended to receive HD content (defined as a resolution of 720p or higher) while a download speed of at least 25.0 Mbps per stream is recommended to receive Ultra HD (defined as a resolution of 1080p or higher) and HDR content.
The platform recently launched MovieBox, a content submission platform for film owners, producers, and directors to submit their content for possible listing on the streaming platform. It’s unclear yet how much it will be paying its content producers, but this will possibly be per industry standard.