“N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood. N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you’re looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly…hello, Nigeria!” Netflix’s Nigerian account tweeted alongside a picture of 14 Nigerian actors.
Since it was shared, it has garnered almost six thousand retweets and 17 thousand likes. In that space of time, it has also gained almost 10 thousand followers on the account.
N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood. N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you're looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly…hello, Nigeria! pic.twitter.com/js8z3LIyM3
— Netflix Naija (@NetflixNaija) February 25, 2020
All of this is exciting, but what does this mean for Nollywood and more importantly, for the consumers of Nollywood content and for our international image?
For those who have somehow been living under a rock and don’t know what Netflix is, it is a streaming service that offers a wide array of award-winning movies, TV shows, documentaries and others, for a relatively low price.
To top it off, the streaming service does not show any ads. For users of the service, this is a wonderful thing.
In Nigeria, you can watch movies, Tv shows, and other videos on Netflix on any device for a monthly subscription of 2,900 Naira.
While this is a laudable move, it isn’t very surprising. Nigeria is a huge market for movies, with many well-marketed, averagely scripted movies making a buck at the box offices in the country.
The streaming giant acquired Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut in 2018, and for a lack of enough indigenous language content, it would have become Nigeria’s first entry to the Oscars.
Apart from that, Netflix has also acquired a series of popular movies in Nigeria, which are available to watch on its platform. Variety is reporting that the streaming giant is currently developing two unnamed Nigerian series.
This means that the Nigerian audience, who is always on the lookout for more high quality content will also have a wider range of options to choose from.
In December 2018, the platform announced plans to commision original content from Africa, after which it commisioned the Zambian animaed series, ‘Mama K’s Team 4’ and two South African series, ‘Blood and Series’ and ‘Queen Sono’.
The latter stars Pearl Thusi and is set for release in a week.
Disney +, Amazon Prime, HBO, and Apple Plus TV are set to grab a large chunk of Netflix’s streaming market. The streaming giant which currently boasts over 117 million subscribers worldwide will see those numbers fall as audiences who cannot maintain subscriptions across all boards will switch alliances.
So, this is a two way street. Netflix is seeking to expand its market into the untapped African market while making it easier for Africans to tell our own authentic stories which can be easily broadcasted all over the world.
Hopefully, this means that more original stories will be told, and who knows, maybe in the first few years, Nigeria will win her first Oscar Award.