Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, the world’s second largest film producer after India’s Bollywood is set to go digital following an exclusive content partnership between Nigerian firm, Iroko Partners and Nigerian movie producers.
Under the content partnership, Iroko Partners will buy multi-year licenses for hundreds of Nollywood titles and will serve as the official Nollywood partner on YouTube. The move is in line with YouTube’s increasing shift overtime towards embracing long-form video.
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According to company estimates, the company’s YouTube channel, Nollywood Love has amassed about 1.2 million unique visits from about 131 countries since it started signing content deals early this year.
Nigeria’s movie industry is notorious for its piracy issues. According to CNN, Nollywood insiders estimate that up to 50 percent of the industry’s profits are lost to pirated versions of movies. The new content deal is expected to potentially help Nollywood producers recover profits lost to piracy through the licensing deals.
As Nigeria’s Internet penetration rate expands and as broadband access increases, the company is expected to garner millions of eyeballs from Nollywood enthusiasts around the world. It monetizes its operations via YouTube ads and its ad revenue will naturally increase as Internet usage deepens.
It will be interesting to see how the new content partnership affects Nigeria’s movie culture in the coming years.
The recent trend is tipped to eventually mirror Netflix’ eclipsing of Blockbuster in the United States as Nigerian movie watchers move from making purchases via brick and mortar DVD stores to online video.