Netflix: We’ve invested N9bn into Nollywood

Netflix, America’s streaming giant, says it is investing heavily to ensure its subscribers enjoy the same quality content.

Shola Sanni, director of public policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Netflix, made this known at the second Nigeria digital content regulation conference held in Lagos on Friday.

The event had in attendance stakeholders in the local and international streaming services, independent producers, free-to-air, pay TV operators, telcos, content creators, and other operators in the film industry.

Speaking at the event, Sanni said the company has invested N9 billion in the Nigeria film industry from 2016 to 2022.

She said this was done through converting local film titles, capacity building and infrastructure development in the industry.

According to Sanni, Netflix had invested in over 200 local licensed titles, co-produced and commissioned original film content.

She added that 125 films and television series are available on Netflix as at November 2022.

The aim of the investments, Sanni said, was to ensure that all subscribers across the world enjoyed the same content at will.

“We love Nigeria and believe in it and that is why we are investing in the Nigeria film industry to entertain Nigerians and the world, with the best-in-class stories from the country,” she said.

“We are poised to tell stories that are not only interesting in Nigeria, but in 189 other countries where Netflix is present.”

On his part, Adedayo Thomas, executive director, National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB), said the conference was an avenue to discuss regulations in the film industry, with focus on streaming services.

Thomas said the event, which started last year, was geared towards bringing balance and equity to the ecosystem, especially with the disruption of the digital era.

“The overall goal of this conference is to create a platform for robust dialogue between the government, through the regulator and the video-on-demand (VOD) platforms,” he said.

“This is led by the over-the-top Streamers, as the government strives to oversee, monitor, moderate and balance the digital phenomenon for all players.

“As the shift from traditional to digital content consumption and the operations of local and international over-the-top (OTT) streaming services continue to impact on the growth of the local film industry in Nigeria, it has become imperative to convene the second edition of this conference.”

Also speaking at the conference, Sunday Ododo, general manager and chief executive officer, National Arts Theatre, Nigeria, commended Thomas for his tenacity in pushing for a robust awareness on what the industry is doing.

Ododo said the massive ongoing construction of over 100 million at the National Theatre was geared toward making the venue super exotic for performances and exhibitions.

“Work has reached an advanced stage, and part of the facility ready. We will do a test run between November 14 and Noember 18, 2022,” Ododo said.