Netflix Bets On Africa For Subscriber Growth

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By CultureBanx Team

  • Netflix has more than 47M subscribers across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East
  • Revenues from streaming platforms will exceed $1B in sub-Saharan Africa by 2024

The world’s leading streaming service Netflix (NFLX -1.02%) is turning to Africa to expand its diverse content offering. They have been courting local creators, while touting plans to thrust the continent center-stage just in time for its first African original series, “Queen Sono,” that dropped last month. Netflix is tapping African talent to lead the way for its original programing, and this could finally be a sign that streaming services are recognizing the cultural and monetary value of African storytelling as a means of growing their revenues and subscriber base.

Why This Matters: With new subscriber sign-ups slowing in America, Netflix is increasingly looking abroad. They’ve developed successful “originals” in France, South Korea, India and now Africa. Digital TV Research, estimates that revenues from streaming platforms will exceed $1 billion in sub-Saharan Africa by 2024, compared to 2018 when revenues were only $223 million. According to The Economist, this forecast for Netflix will attract 39% of subscribers in the region.

Right now 90% of Netflix’s growth is from markets outside of the U.S.

Africa is prime territory for movie and TV moneymakers, but people don’t pay to watch TV shows simply because they are made on their home turf, they have to be good too. The continent will be vital to fend off threats to its international subscription growth. According to Netflix, the streaming service had more than 47 million subscribers across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at the end of Q3 2019. That’s double the amount of subscribers it had from those regions at the start of 2017. Right now, 90% of its growth is from these markets outside of the U.S. Netflix actually reported its first drop in U.S. subscribers for the first time in almost a decade.

If Netflix continues to secure exclusive licenses and create original content from African production companies, it will significantly impact employment rates across the continent. Specifically, Nigeria alone could profit from a million more jobs as Nollywood generates more than $600 million for its economy.

What’s Next: For African storytellers Netflix offers remarkable reach since its available in 190 countries, the platform is bringing made-in-Africa stories to a global audience. They have several other African shows in the works, including “Blood & Water” and “Mama K’s Team 4”, an animated series for children. Currently the company is clearly still the leader in the international streaming space, so it could probably still “Netflix and chill” for now.

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CultureBanx Team

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