Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service iflix is continuing its march across emerging markets with a launch in 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, the African arm of iflix will start rolling out its SVOD services in the second and third quarters of 2017. The first set of territories to receive the service will include Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In addition to Hollywood content, iflix Africa will stream Bollywood, Nollywood and other regional and local TV series and movies. The service aims to tap into the region’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration, and huge appetite for digital content.
The move comes just two months after iflix launched across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Launching in May 2015, iflix has since rolled out its services to 18 markets in Asia and MENA and signed up five million subscribers. In March 2017, the company completed a $90m funding round with new investors Liberty Global and Zain Group joining existing backers Sky, Catcha Group and Evolution Media.
“As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content,” said iflix co-founder and CEO Mark Britt.
“By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those growingly connected viewers.”
Andre de Wet, iflix head of Africa, said: “As the fastest-growing mobile market on earth, Africa is without question one of the world’s most dynamic regions. We are thrilled to introduce our first-of-its-kind SVOD service here.”
The Nigeria-based film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, is the region’s most prolific film producer, churning out around 1,000 features a year. Nollywood content is also streamed by UK-based SVOD platform irokotv, which has secured funding from Tiger Global Management and Swedish hedge fund Kinnevik.