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The streaming wars have reached Africa

Netflix-Disney-streaming-Africa-thefutureparty
Streaming wars in Africa // Illustration by Kate Walker

The streaming wars have reached Africa

 

The Future. Streamers are battling to capture the market in Africa. From Netflix to Disney+ to Amazon, global studios are keen on grabbing their media share. After seeing Netflix ramp up its South Korean game, it seems as if the streaming wars are starting to tread international waters. Long overdue, this may herald a golden age of diverse, international content with stars who give viewers a wider selection of content options.

Streaming world war
Streamers of all stripes are locking in partnerships with African producers.

  • EbonyLife Media became the first African company to sign a multititle deal with Netflix in 2020 and since then has landed development deals with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook studios.
  • Last month, Amazon inked two major licensing deals with Nigerian-based Inkblot Studios and Anthill Studios.
  • Disney+ is plotting its African launch, complete with a 10-part animated anthology series featuring short films by directors from all over the continent.

Frenzied competition
The expansion of streamer activity into Africa reflects a general uptick in streaming competition across the world. With pressure to increase subscriber count and continue posting growth, top streamers are looking outside America to boost numbers.

But notably, the movement isn’t just a numbers race. The rising tide of international voices and talent reflects a shift in what viewers want. From the explosively successful Squid Game to the widespread popularity of Money Heist, series bingers are driving demand for more diverse content.