The South African Venture

Mama G
Mama G

Iroko Partners enters the South African movies market in style with a launch of 10,000 new Nigerian movies on DVD

|  By Maureen Chigbo  |  Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

IROKO Partners, Africa’s largest source of Nigerian entertainment with its platforms iROKOtv and iROKING, is making a strategic entry into the South African market with the launch of 10,000 new Nigerian movies, announced Monday, June 10. The launch represents the first foray for iROKOtv, ‘Africa’s Netflix’, into the sizeable South African DVD market. This is a response to the demand for more Nollywood content in South Africa. It is also a brand new distribution channel for iROKOtv as historically the company’s content has only been available online.

Jason Njoku

Nollywood is increasingly popular in South Africa but audiences struggle to access high quality, low-cost, legal content online, which makes the shift to DVD sales both exciting for iROKO as a new distribution channel and perfect for South African consumers. Nigeria’s movie industry, colloquially known as ‘Nollywood’, is the second largest film industry in the world, producing around 2,000 movies a year.

Mama G, Nollywood superstar, will be in Johannesburg to officially launch iROKOtv’s new DVDs at the screening of her huge hit Airline Babes. Tickets to the event are free. The event is brought to the public in association with Spaza and will hold at THE OPEN in Maboneng – one of the city’s hippest cinema screens.

Ten of iROKOtv’s most popular Nollywood films are now available on top quality DVDs, beautifully packaged and at a cost of R30. They are currently selling in Johannesburg’s local shops and markets including Soweto, Kempton Park, Rosettenville and Randburg.  Almost 50 percent of iROKOtv’s traffic comes from the UK and the US, as Diasporan communities have access to cheap and reliable broadband; something that cannot be said for the vast majority of Africans on the continent.

Jason Njoku, founder and CEO, said: “iROKOtv revolutionised the video-on-demand, VOD, industry for African entertainment when we launched, bringing thousands of movies online to Nollywood lovers around the world. In a short space of time, we were able to connect with the online African community but, in reality, the majority of  Nollywood fans are offline and watch Nollywood on DVDs.” Njoku said: “Access is the immediate challenge for VOD companies here. Until Africa comes online, DVDs will continue to be the primary platform to consume content, which is why iROKOtv has now entered the DVD market.”

Genevieve Dumorne

Genevieve Dumourne, head of iROKO South Africa, said: “The South African market entry is evidence of iROKO diversifying its offering and broadening its reach across the continent. When we launched 18 months ago, we gave Nollywood a home online, providing the content loved by so many with a well-deserved beautiful platform. With the launch of the DVD business, we have taken exactly the same approach, producing top quality discs in beautifully designed boxes that really stand out from anything else on the market. It’s an extremely exciting market and we have high expectations for growing this part of the business”.

Since 2010, the company has built a global audience of more than six million unique users from 178 different countries across its movie and music platforms. Between iROKOtv, an on-demand film streaming service for Nollywood movies, and iROKING, a music streaming service, iROKO Partners has the largest legally assembled library on planet earth, giving viewers access to thousands of movies, tunes and music videos at the click of a mouse. The company works with Nigerian movie and music producers and artists to bring this content into the digital arena, showcasing the very best of the country’s incredible creative content to the African Diaspora on beautifully designed, easy-to-use websites and mobile apps.

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