Cultural Gate Keepers: Africa’s Plausible Opportunity to Millions

In the ultimate search for viable media businesses entrepreneurs across the continent are frantically searching for the foothold needed to pivot a restless yet small but potent middle class across the African continent towards local content platforms. irokotv
The search remains frantic and few if any media platforms have received any level of success. Enter a multi-million dollar enterprise founded by one Jason Njoku which is now being termed African’s equivalent of Netflix. Its video on demand service offering has spawned unparalleled success in a continent where media rights are a laughable concept. IROKOTV
Indeed has now reportedly raised more than $10,000,000 in funding from investors in its quest to conquer the African online media market. It also reportedly syndicates its content to foreign partners of whom vimeo and itunes are a number. Talk of a pipe dream reality, yet many internet upstarts offering africans something local have fallen flat on their faces begging the question why this company is so successful.
The reason is context. The Nigerian movie business with 150 million potential customers within its borders has now spawned Nollywood, a veritable media industry that now boast some of the most handsomely paid African actors on the continent. Add the ever diligent production machine that this industry has and a vibrant global and local audience then finds itself with a solid customer base on which to build its legs on.
Yet that is the story on the surface. Digging deeper you notice the role plays as gate keepers to everything African. The only online retailer of African movies worth mentioning on the planet. All on its own, this company has taken the role of defining the African cultural pot to the world and with this achieved tremendous success.
It is a simple yet powerful concept really. Pool all African content behind a pay wall and wait as diaspora and local audiences clamor to access it by virtue of its localized and organized repository on the web.
I believe that while many so called African cultural media enterprises are created daily, few if any consider the concept that African content is actually worth something at all. Those that do immediately propel themselves as authorities to the African and Global audiences that they serve as well as become so called Gate keepers to everything African. A position that for one Jason Njoku has proved to be a boon in business success. All hail the underrated African.