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Nigerian firm starts video streaming in Kenya market

So far, the company has set up 25 kiosks around Nairobi although only 15 are operational. FILE PHOTO | NMG
So far, the company has set up 25 kiosks around Nairobi although only 15 are operational. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nigerian video on demand service IROKOtv has launched in Kenya as it looks to tap into the popularity of Nollywood content locally and as part of a larger expansion strategy into Africa.

In a statement sent to the Business Daily, the company, often called the Netflix of Africa, said that it had begun “exploring” the Kenyan market in October.

“The big strategy for IROKOtv has been the shift from focusing on international business (which is close to joining our profitable business units in a matter of months (and finally the big development spend on the Africa business,” said IROKOtv co-founder Jason Njoku in a separate write-up in his blog.

In the business model deployed in Kenya, IROKOtv is setting up kiosks in Nairobi where customers can go to access free data to download movies and series for later viewing.  This strategy is meant to remove “as many barriers of entry as possible for Nollywood fans.”

Customers pay entry subscription of Sh600 per year. So far, the company has set up 25 kiosks around Nairobi although only 15 are operational.  The company said that they are in Eastlands, Westlands and in neighbourhoods on Thika, Mombasa and Ngong Road.  A kiosk finder is available on the IROKOtv mobile application.

IROKOtv already has a presence in Rwanda and soon plans to move into Zambia and Uganda. The company is stepping into a local video on demand market that has become increasingly competitive in recent months.

Existing players include Showmax, Netflix and Iflix. The high costs of data have, however, meant that companies have become creative in creating workarounds for customers. 

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