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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

irokotv
Irokotv updated logo.jpg
Type of businessLimited company
Founded1 December 2011; 10 years ago (2011)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Founder(s)Jason Njoku
CEOJason Njoku
ProductsNigerian Nollywood movies
ServicesProvides paid-for Nigerian films on-demand (online streaming)
URLirokotv.com
Launched1st December, 2011.
Current statusActive

irokotv is a web platform that provides paid-for Nigerian films on-demand. It is one of Africa's first mainstream online movie streaming websites, providing access to over 5,000 Nollywood film titles.[1] irokotv is a part of iROKO Limited which is one of Africa's entertainment companies.[2][3]

irokotv was launched on 1 December 2011. Its parent company, iROKO Partners, was founded by Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter in December 2010,[4] with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom. irokotv is one of the world's legal digital distributors of African movies.[5][6]

While living in London iroko's co-founder, Jason Njoku, realised how popular African movies had become. Despite a growing worldwide demand, there was no legal option to watch movies from his home country. He therefore decided to take matters in his own hands and negotiate licensing deals with local Nigerian producers.[7]

History

The irokotv website was launched on 1 December 2011 by iROKO Partners, who are the licensors and distributors of Nollywood movies.[8] Jason Njoku, the company's CEO and Bastian Gotter, now COO, met whilst students together at the University of Manchester together.[9]

Njoku made several attempts to set up his own companies in the immediate years after university, but failed on each attempt.[10] Njoku was inspired to start the company when he found it difficult to obtain Nollywood movies online for his mother, who he was living with at the time.[7] Having researched the Nollywood industry, and noting the lack of infrastructure in place for international distribution of the movies, Njoku flew to Lagos, Nigeria, and purchased the online licenses of Nollywood movies directly from the producers. Having struck a deal with YouTube in Germany, he used the Google-owned platform to stream the licensed Nollywood movies, for free, on his channel, Nollywoodlove.[11] The channel became hugely popular and was profitable in a short period of time[12] and was the focus of a number of press features in international press, including CNBC, CNN and Techcrunch. The success of Nollywoodlove led to a successful investment from US-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management, who led a two-round investment totalling US$8 million,[13] making it one of the investments into a West African Dot-com venture. A further investment round of $2m, led by Swedish-based hedge fund Kinnevik, followed in July 2012.[14][15] The company has, in total, raised $25m of investment, making it one of the funded West African internet companies.[16]

irokotv works with most of Nollywood's top film production houses and purchases the exclusive online licenses to their films, In an attempt to distribute Nollywood films to a global audience. The company's audience is predominantly in the Diaspora, with top five countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, (Germany) and Italy.[14] Njoku is known as a pioneer in African tech start-ups.[17]

Platforms

Services

irokotv operates a subscription business model where users can access Nollywood movies via an Android App in Africa, and via an app or online in the West.[18] In June 2015, iROKOtv CEO and co-Founder, Jason Njoku announced that the company will be shutting down the website and streaming service in Africa, and shifting to mobile only from July that year.[19]

Offices

In 2012, the company opened offices in London and New York[20] and in 2013, the company added a further office in Johannesburg.[21]

Distribution

irokotv's main offering is an internet video streaming platform of selected Nollywood titles (both English and Yoruba films). The platform currently has around 5,000 movies on the platform, which equals approx 10,000 hours of content.[22] The company has also forged partnerships with leading global technology firms, including Nokia, who launched the irokotv App on the Nokia Lumia in January 2013.[23]

Since 2014, the company has also moved into global offline distribution, and supplies a number of airlines with Nollywood content, including British Airways, South African Airways, Emirates, Kenya Airways and United Airlines[24]

irokotv maintains content distribution deals with YouTube, Dailymotion, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo.[25][26] The company also has content partnership deals with Tigo, Nollywood Movies, The Africa Channel and Nollywood TV. In March 2015,iROKOtv launched a new feature that will enable subscribers download movies for later offline viewing.[27]

In April 2015, iROKO began to move some of its content offline and launched two new TV channels,[28] iROKO Play and iROKO Plus on Africa's StarTimes,[29] to which Jason Njoku commented "We're known primarily for leading OTT content delivery across Africa through irokotv.com, but with digital migration spreading rapidly throughout the continent, now is the right time for us to diversify our distribution model and expand into the Linear TV market."[30]

Awards and nominations

In 2017, iROKO TV won the 'Online Television With Best Movie Content Award' at the City People Movie Awards.[31]

References

  1. ^ Tori Omega (2020), "The Performative Digital Africa: iROKOtv, Nollywood Televisuals, and Community Building in the African Digital Diaspora", The SAGE Handbook of Media and Migration, SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 207–219, doi:10.4135/9781526476982.n25, ISBN 978-1-5264-4721-0
  2. ^ Zwelling, Jeff (20 March 2012). "IrokoTV Raises $8 Million to Bring Nollywood to the World". PandoDaily. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  3. ^ https://africabusinesscommunities.com/news/french-media-channel-canal-aquires-nigerian-film-studio-rok/
  4. ^ "Making a fortune by distributing Nigerian films online". BBC. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  5. ^ "iROKOtv launches subscription service". Bizcommunity.com. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  6. ^ "IROKO TV to go public on London Stock Exchange". 11 February 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b "'Netflix of Africa' brings Nollywood to world". CNN. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  8. ^ https://allafrica.com/stories/202102110590.html/
  9. ^ Law™, Africa Music (30 January 2017). "IrokoTV Co-founder Bastian Gotter leaves company he built with Jason Njoku". Africa Music Law™. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  10. ^ Boafo, Obed (16 October 2012). "Jason Njoku – Njoku: Projecting Nollywood – Howzit MSN Africa". MSN. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  11. ^ "'Nollywood Love': Nigerian blockbusters for the internet generation". CNN. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Nollywood Pulls in the Dollars". Newafricanmagazine.com. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  13. ^ "iROKOtv, the "Netflix of Africa", reaches 500,000 subscribers in less than six months". balancingact-africa.com. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  14. ^ a b Adegoke, Yinka (16 July 2012). "African Web video service Iroko raises more funds, targets cable TV | Analysis & Opinion". Reuters. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Nigerian Internet Millionaire Raises $2 Million More For 'Netflix of Africa'". Forbes. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Nollywood Pulls in the Dollars". Ventures Africa.
  17. ^ "The 50 most influential Africans: Jason Njoku | West Africa". Theafricareport.com. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  18. ^ ".Com. Goodbye". Jason.com.ng. 30 June 2015. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  19. ^ "iROKOtv.com is Shutting Down". techpoint.ng. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  20. ^ "iROKOtv Celebrates First Year As Nollywood Goes Global". Ventures Africa. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  21. ^ "iROKO Partners opens in S/Africa – Vanguard News". Vanguardngr.com. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  22. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. "iROKOtv.com Expands – World's Largest Online Distributor of African Content Adds American Titles". Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Nokia Signs Lumia Deal with Nigerian Movie Service – Tech Europe – WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  24. ^ "Partners". iROKO.ng.
  25. ^ "Nollywood bolsters Nigeria's economy". African Business Review. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  26. ^ "Interview With CEO Jason Njoku iRoko Partners | Africa's Netflix Set To Disrupt US TV & Cable Market | TechZuluTechZulu". Techzulu.com. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  27. ^ "You Can Download Movies For Offline Viewing on iROKOtv". techpoint.ng. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  28. ^ space, Woman in Tech Taking the African tech; tips, one step after another Send; Releases, Press (13 April 2015). "IrokoTV Signs Exclusive Deal, Launches Two New TV Channels With Startimes". Techpoint.ng. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  29. ^ "IROKOtv secures StarTimes channels". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  30. ^ "IROKOtv, StarTimes sign exclusive channel deal". Vanguard News. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Full List Of Winners At The 2017 City People Movie Awards | City People Magazine". City People Magazine. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
This page was last edited on 19 September 2021, at 00:45
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