iROKOtv | Netflix of Africa

iROKOtv | Netflix of Africa

iROKOtv is an online movie streaming provider that offers free and paid on demand services for Nigerian movies.

It is one among Africa’s first popular on-line movie streaming websites, providing free and quick access to over 5,000 Nollywood movie titles.

The service is a part of iROKO Associates which is among Africa’s top entertainment companies, housing companies such as iROKING, a web-base music platform and its YouTube web site, Nollywoodlove.

The Beginning of Movie Streaming in Nigeria

iROKOtv was introduced and launched on 1st December 2011.

Its parent company, iROKO Associates, was established by Bastian Gotter and Jason Njokuin in December 2010 with its head offices in Anthony Villa, Lagos, Nigeria.

The streaming service has been known as the ‘Netflix’ of Africa. It is the world’s largest legalized electronic digital provider of African movies.

iROKOtv web site was introduced on 1 December 2011 by iROKO Associates, who are the biggest distributors and license holder of Nollywood videos.

Failures of the CEO and a Brilliant Idea

Jason who is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Bastian Gotter, who is now the Chief Operating Officer, met while studying together at the University of Manchester.

Njoku tried various attempts to setup his own company in the immediate years just after graduating from the university, but was unsuccessful on each attempt.

Njoku was motivated to start a company when he found it very hard to get Nollywood videos online for his mother, whom he was staying with at that particular time.

After researching the Nollywood industry, and nothing in place for international distribution of the videos, Njoku went to Lagos, Nigeria, and bought the online required licenses of Nollywood movies from the producers himself.

Having arranged a deal with YouTube in Germany, he utilized the Google owned and operated platform to stream the registered Nollywood movies, for free on his channel, Nollywoodlove.

Growth of the Free YouTube Channel

The channel grew and become very popular. It was successful in a short period of time and was the focus of a number of international press such as, CNN, CNBC and Techcrunch.

The achievements of Nollywoodlove lead to a profitable investment from US-based hedge fund Tiger Global, who brought a two-round investment of $8 million US dollars, making it  among the largest single investments into a West African Dot-com business.

An additional investment of $2M, directed by Swedish based hedge provide for Kinnevik transpired and closed in July of 2012.

iROKOtv operates with nearly all of Nollywood’s leading film production houses and it has also bought the exclusive online permits to their films in an attempt to spread Nollywood films to a worldwide audience.

The company’s viewers are primarily located in the Diaspora, as well as the top five countries where Nigerians are heavily found such as in UK, US, Canada, Italy and Germany.

Streaming Film Tycoon

Njoku is normally known by his colleagues and in the media as a founder in African technology start-ups and in 2012, he was elected by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of London’s major Black Men of Power.

iROKOtv is a freemium business where people can access Nollywood videos.

The substantial majority of the website, around 95%, is completely free with the rest of the website running on a subscription program called iROKOtv PLUS.

The paid subscription service provides subscribers access to brand new Nollywood videos for only $5 per month.

The new program was launched by Nollywood actors and iROKOtv brand ambassadors, Tonto Dikeh and Funke Akindele.

Powerful Partnerships = Success

Online Video Streaming iROKOtv’s movie player is presently powered by Ooyala, who is an online video tech provider. iROKOtv also loves content supply deals with Dailymotion, YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo and Amazon.

In 2012, the company launched offices in New York and London.

The following year marked another global expansion for the company when it included an additional business centre in Johannesburg.

The company has also created partnerships with top global technology companies, like Nokia, who introduced the iROKOtv App on the Nokia Lumia in January 2013.

iROKOtv’s major feature is an online video streaming platform of chosen Nollywood titles (both Yoruba and English films).

On 1 July 2012 they will charge $5 monthly for newer movie releases.

Categories: Startups

About Author

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*