Netfix does not want to ignore the Nigerian scene, despite the abysmally low subscription figure in the country.
The global movie/TV streaming service is making far more money in South Africa than in Nigeria, but it has come to shoot a TV series in the country, just months after concluding a similar shoot at the southern tip of the continent.
“Yes, South Africans may have the money, but it is Nigerians that the world is watching”, boasts a ranking TV writer and producer who chooses not to be named.
Officially, Netflix’s head of African originals, Dorothy Ghettuba, phrased it in this way: “We want to be top of mind for creators in Nigeria especially when it comes to stories they haven’t had a chance to tell yet”.
Netflix’s worldwide subscription was 148 Million as of Aril 2019, with the United States, naturally, leaving every country in the dust with 59Million subscribers.
South Africa’s numbers are the largest in Africa, but they are less than a quarter of a million (250,000) even though Netflix officials talk of upside, but the Nigerian subscription clocks in at less than 100,000 subscribers.
Nigerian born, South African raised Akin Omotoso is currently in the country, directing the Netflix Nigerian original series, which actual title has not been released.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Queen Sono, the streaming services’ first ‘African Original’, premiered Friday February 28, starring Pearl Thusi, directed by Kadiso Lediga and Tebogo Malope. About a highly trained South African spy who takes on her most dangerous mission yet while facing changing relationships in her personal life, Queen Sono is a crime thriller featuring Vuyo Danbula, Abigail Kubeka and Kate Liquorish.
The Nigerian cast that Omotosho is working with includes Richard Mofe Damijo, Rmsey Noah, Omoni Oboli and other A list Nigerian stars.
Nigerian internet subscribers, whose numbers are in the hundreds of millions (116Million by NCC’S submission), are plugged in for largely the value they get from whatsapping, facebooking and instagramming, platforms which have become business communities, newspaper sites and entertainment spots for many in the country.
They are often too strapped for cash to pay money for subscription first and then dispense with the several Gigabytes of data to watch movies and TV series on Netflix.