MTN, iRokotv target N2tn from online streaming

Technology & Convergence

Video on Demand platform, iROKOtv says it has a target to make about N2tn ($1bn) from online streaming in Nigeria by 2020.

The Chief Executive Officer of iROKOtv, Mr. Jason Njoku, said this on Monday, days after Ericsson’s ConsumerLab published its first-ever television and media report for Nigeria, which indicated that Nigerians spent about N54bn on VoD streaming between January and September 2015.

Perhaps because of the enormous opportunities in the market and the N2tn prospect in the VoD sector, telecommunications company, MTN long ago acquired AfriNolly and DoBox. Both (AfriNolly and DoBox) are said to pose stiff competition to iROKOtv.

The Public Relations and Protocol Manager, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Funso Aina, said, “The MTN DoBox and AfriNolly came as a game changer to the movie industry in Nigeria. Those who place premium value on watching movies on-the-go through the use of cutting-edge technology have been adopting it significantly since it was launched.”

However, Njoku said the iROKOtv’s vision was to have one million subscribers in the country by 2020, saying, “If we can reach that number, then iROKO will be a billion-dollar company. We simply target $1bn (N2tn). That is what I believe Nollywood, Nigeria and West Africa deserve.”

He added, “As a billion-dollar media and technology company, we curate and export Nigerian culture globally. The industry now needs us as much as we need them.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Ericsson Nigeria, Johan Jemdahl, has said the figure of those viewing online videos will rise because TV and video content consumption is no longer tied to the traditional TV screen.

“Though television screens remain the single most popular platform for TV and video consumption, it only accounts for one-third of the total time spent watching videos. Sixty-four per cent of the time is spent watching videos on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet and laptop),” he said.

According to him, today’s viewers of TV and video content in Nigeria do not want to adhere to a specific device or schedule, and seek the freedom and flexibility to choose what they watch, when to watch it and on which device.

“Out of the regular TV viewers in Nigeria in the survey, only 37 per cent are satisfied with the choice and variety of available content. They prefer to choose and pay for the channels that they want. Current pay TV services offer limited customisation capabilities,” Jemdahl said.

He said, “The proliferation of mobile devices and availability of mobile broadband have significantly altered the consumption patterns of TV and video content in Nigeria. With the ownership of smartphones significantly higher than that of television and PCs (which include desktops and laptops) and more Nigerians demanding flexibility in their viewing schedules, the opportunities for mobile television cannot be overstated.

“Thirty-six per cent of the time spent watching TV and video content is done on television screens making it the single most popular platform for TV and video consumption in Nigeria.

“Fifty-one per cent of consumers want to choose when they watch TV and video content rather than follow a set schedule.”

Meanwhile, the Ericsson Nigeria MD added that findings from the study also showed that only 27 per cent of Nigerian consumers streamed videos more than weekly, compared with the global average of 76 per cent.

“Respondents identified connectivity issues and restrictive data charges on mobile data as factors affecting their online streaming experience,” he said.

He added, “Furthermore, the study showed that the same factors had an impact on piracy. Though global research has shown a decline in file sharing and illegal streaming services when easy-to-use and reasonably priced legal VoD services are available, limitations in connectivity and restrictive data charges drive the purchase of pirated content on DVDs.

“With TV and media services accounting for 43 per cent of Nigerian consumers’ entertainment expenses, as much as 16 per cent is spent on pirated material and the remaining 27 per cent on pay TV.”

Source: Nigeria News Update 13 Ocotber 2015