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Africa has a population of just over a billion people. Close on ten 10% of Africa’s population are internet users, which realises a market of well over 297.8m connected people. Future By Design speaks to Afrinolly about its business and about the future of streaming content and entertainment in Africa.
A research report from Ericsson shows that mobile data is on the rise.
“Mobile data usage in sub-Saharan Africa doubled between 2012 and 2013, according to a report from Ericsson, providing huge opportunities for mobile service providers, telecommunication equipment manufacturers and software developers,” reports Mobile Marketing Magazine. Ericsson, the global tech communications company based in Sweden, predicts that mobile data usage in the region will double annually year on year for at least the next six years.
This is great news for a brand such as Afrinolly, the mobile app that puts entertainment ‘in people’s pockets’, particularly given that Afrinolly believes that the future of African film is all about mobile streaming.
The biggest issue that this industry will face now, and in the future, is piracy. “Every year, African film makers lose millions of dollars (no) thanks to movie piracy. It’s a complex matrix of legal and socio-economic issues. But what if we could get around some of these problems, and actually help local film makers reap the benefits of their creativity, and develop the African film industry further?” asks Chike Maduegbuna, entrepreneur, founder and CEO of FansConnectOnline Limited (aka FCO Limited) and the brains behind Afrinolly.
Afrinolly believes that the future for film in Africa is making film content available on mobile devices in well-protected formats that will allow the majority of people to stream or download content without being able to pirate it.
“Piracy today is indicative of a behavioral shift in consumer demand for content; a shift towards an on-demand or on-the-go consumption powered by technological changes in the form of smart devices.” Maduegbuna believes that secure digital apps and platforms that provides filmmakers and content owners with a means to safely distribute their content to consumers via their mobile devices, protected by the best of today’s content distribution technologies, is what will bring sustainability to the African film sector.
“By adopting the use of mobile phone technology and offering a relevant solution to filmmakers, we have been able to give filmmakers a complementary option to the traditional distribution channels. Because consumer taste and preferences keep changing, a mobile platform gives us the flexibility to adapt to these needs and incorporate new experiences from global trends,” Maduegbuna explains.
The Afrinolly app has been downloaded 4 million times, and currently has an index of over 2000 movies and trailers. “Besides movies, we also have many short films produced in the African movie market, African music videos, comedy skits, series, celebrity news and Bollywood movies.”