Netflix faces tougher test in Nigeria as Showmax and Amazon ramp up investment

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by Netflix plans to revamp its strategy to keep subscribers from leaving its platform with a cheaper subscription option and a crackdown on password sharing in the face of tougher tests in markets like Nigeria, where Amazon has since April stepped up its recruiting efforts to bolster its business plans for the country.

Showmax is also increasing content investment with new shows like Real Lagos Housewives. A report from Stears puts Showmax ahead of Netflix in terms of market share. The MultiChoice-backed streaming platform holds 31.6% market share ahead of Netflix at 29.7%. Amazon’s talent hunt also aims to increase its market share in Nigeria.

Amazon recruits for the African market for Prime; when they finish establishing Prime in Africa, I don’t know how lucky Netflix will be,” said Seun Agbelusi, a film content creator.

In a job posting on its website, Amazon Studios said it was looking for a Nigerian Originals Manager based in London. The candidate will be an experienced senior creative executive working with the Nigerian Originals team. The successful candidate will report to the Originals Manager for Africa and the Middle East.

“You will have day-to-day oversight of the creation and growth of Amazon Prime Video’s local original content slate from Nigeria. You will leverage your hands-on development/production experience, judgment, collaboration and your deep industry knowledge to bring to life a slate of projects that will delight Prime Video customers everywhere,” the company said.

Amazon Studios also has three roles open for Nigeria, namely Senior Creative Director of Scripted Series, Senior Creative Director of Movies and Creative Development Coordinator. All positions are based in London.

Experts say Amazon’s latest Nigerian talent hunt is an indication that the company is poised to increase its role in Nigeria’s streaming market. Amazon Prime recently decided to expand its presence in Nigeria, which has the largest entertainment industry in Africa and the second largest film industry in the world.

Despite its size, Nollywood is reportedly valued at just over $6 billion but could become the country’s most lucrative export. The industry produces around 2,500 films a year. In 2021, Nollywood generated $687 million for the country’s economy, contributing 2.3% to GDP.

Before streaming services, Nollywood dominated screens in Nigeria and across Africa, but it has been slow to catch a global audience. He also struggled to explore opportunities with African Diaspora communities around the world. Streaming services like Iroko Tv, UKTVNow, Redbox TV, Nigeria Live TV, Netflix and Showmax are now giving global audiences easy access to Nollywood movies.

Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, however, aims to control much of the industry and has secured the signings of various producers and directors in multi-million dollar deals.

But the company’s latest subscriber report showed it had lost 200,000 subscribers globally for the first time in 10 years. Netflix says it expects to lose another two million over the next three months. The company’s stock price fell more than 35% after the announcement, wiping around $55 billion of its value.

Also read: Netflix points to competition, password sharing as users drop

Following these losses, Netflix said in the coming years it would launch a cheaper, ad-supported subscription option for users, crack down on people who share their passwords, and cut spending on movies. and in television programs.

Netflix’s loss of subscribers should bring relief to existing streaming operators hoping to catch up with Netflix’s content investment in Nigeria. Netflix has a global investment budget of $15 billion for original production and licensing. Amazon will likely have no problem matching Netflix when it comes to content investment.

In December 2021, Amazon signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Amazon Prime Video. He also signed another multi-year deal with Anthill Studios in Lagos. The deal makes Prime Video the exclusive global streaming home for Anthill’s film portfolio.

It’s also a decision to source new content from a continent that many believe has largely unexplored much of its rich cultural heritage.

But some experts say Netflix can boost subscriber numbers in markets like Nigeria by solving access to internet speeds.

“Any Netflix conversation about potential subscriber growth in Africa – particularly in Nigeria, where it invests – should consider the availability of internet speeds required for HD streaming there,” said Tambay Obenson, a film professional. . “It could (pay) Netflix to offer any package to beleaguered customers around the world. For example, a Netflix subscription combo that includes high-speed internet service.

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