Digitisation of films, videos, and audiovisual content quickly has changed the rules and highlighted the entertainment industry as a driver of economic activity in emerging markets like Nigeria, with over a million people directly or indirectly working for the second-highest employer in the country -Nollywood; right after the agriculture sector.
Streaming services are overlapping markets and growing new audiences in ways never seen before. Evident in the recent merging of Nigeria’s Nollywood and India’s Bollywood in the release of Namaste Wahala (“Hello trouble” in Hindi and Nigerian pidgin). A romantic comedy that went to break Netflix’s top 10 list in the United States, creating a buzz on African content expansion by the streaming company.
The third-generation Nigerian with Indian roots who created, directed, produced and acted in the movie released by Netflix on 14 February 2021 said, “it is both exciting and beautiful to have a Nollywood movie sitting on the same platform as a Hollywood production, be received in that way.”
The film produced in Nigeria, edited in India, and released by Netflix to a global audience has given rise to the new age of video streaming displaying how truly small the entertainment world is. The new possibility has opened up the film and television industry in vibrant developing markets. Redefining what a hit can be and, most notably, the economic calculation for producing films.
Also eased by the rapid entry of on-demand streaming services, telecommunication providers are driving down data prices and expanding internet access in many countries. Fuelling competition accelerated by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Stefan Hall, project lead for media, entertainment at the World Economic Forum, said, “redefined possibilities and the increase of competition in content creation is beginning a wave of investment in international content that the world has never seen.”