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Netflix invests N9bn in Nigeria film industry

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Netflix hopes to boost local film industries with many of its investments.

At the second Nigeria Digital Content Regulation Conference, which took place in Lagos, Ms. Shola Sanni, Director of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa at Netflix, stated that the global streaming service had invested nine billion Naira in the Nigerian film industry from the year 2016 to 2022. Attendees at the two-day event included Content Creators, independent producers, Free-To-Air, Pay TV Operators, Telcos, other operators in the movie industry and stakeholders from local and foreign streaming platforms.

According to Sanni, this was accomplished by modifying the titles of locally produced films, boosting capacity within the industry, and developing Infrastructure for the sector. She mentioned further that Netflix had made investments in over 200 locally licensed titles, original cinematic content that was co-produced and commissioned, and that Netflix had also co-produced certain films. As of the month of November 2022, she claims that Netflix provides access to 125 different movies and television series.

The company affirmed its love for Nigeria and other operational countries.

The Netflix officer assured that the company was spending heavily to ensure that all subscribers could access the same content at anytime, anywhere in the world. She explained that the company supports the Nigerian film industry because they love Nigeria and believe in it and wants to provide Nigerians and people across the world with the best possible entertainment. She added that they are ready to tell stories that will be interesting not only in Nigeria but also in the other 189 countries where Netflix is available.

Furthermore, Alh. Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), stated in his welcome message that the conference was an opportunity to examine regulations in the film industry, with a particular emphasis on streaming services. Thomas explained that the purpose of the meeting, which began in 2021 and continued until 2022, was to bring equilibrium and fairness to the ecosystem, particularly in light of the upheaval caused by the digital era.

The conference aims to discuss regulations in the film industry.

Speaking on the purpose of why the conference came into existence, Thomas affirmed that the main goal of this conference is to establish a forum for an in-depth conversation to take place between the governing body, as represented by the regulator, and the Video-on-Demand (VOD) platforms. The over-the-top streamers are in charge of this, while the government works to supervise, moderate, monitor, and strike a balance within the digital phenomena for the benefit of all players.

As the transition from conventional to digital content consumption and the procedures of local and foreign Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming services continue to influence the growth of the local film industry in Nigeria, the local film industry in Nigeria will continue to decline. It is now more important than ever to organize the following year’s edition of this conference. The chief executive officer of the NFVCB praised the organization’s partners and sponsors, most notably NETFLIX, for extending their hand of partnership to the industry.

Nigeria National Arts Theatre is also undergoing a significant project.

Moreover, Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager /CEO of Nigeria’s National Arts Theatre, in his goodwill message, praised Thomas for his relentless pursuit of a greater public understanding of the industry’s efforts. According to Prof. Ododo, the National Theatre is currently undergoing a significant Construction project costing over $100 million to transform it into a world-class exotic venue for performances and exhibitions. The construction has progressed to a substantial degree, and the facility is functional in significant measure. Between November 14 and November 18 of 2022, he stated, they will do a trial run.


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