Netflix is the leading entertainment streaming service in the world and due to its increasing popularity, gone are the days of restricting oneself to a television set when watching your favorite show. Netflix has a client base of over 60 million members across 190 countries. The platform offers approximately 120 million hours of entertainment through television shows, documentaries, and feature films. Netflix allows members to play, pause then pick up their programs from where they left without commercial interruption; perhaps, the most lucrative feature Netflix possesses. With the vast growth of online streaming channels for film and television, consumers have aggressively embraced the introduction of streaming-based platforms like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and more. The service that was launched in 2007 in the U.S. has recently had extensive constructive input into the African entertainment fraternity.
In 2016, Netflix sent the African world into a buzz when it announced its expansion on the continent. The spread of Netflix in Africa has brought forth a lot of excitement to the citizens of approximately 54 countries. The streaming service is now readily accessible to masses across Africa and it is projected that the average user of social media platforms in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana enjoys some of the leading shows in Hollywood. In fact, more users are excited by the range of original programs and licensed television shows that are aired including hit shows such as Scandal, Orange is the New Black, and How to Get Away with Murder as well as Netflix’s introduction of a wide range of Nollywood films.
Although the market expansion of Netflix in Africa was initially exciting to users, it poses a challenge to regional competitors such as DStv in Sub-Saharan Africa. The competitor often struggles with slow internet and having been a monopoly service provider for approximately 21 years on the continent, DStv had no competition until the arrival of Netflix. As a readily available portal for online streaming of shows and movies, Netflix is virtually accessible through internet connection. From the utilization of personal computers, tablets as well as smart phones, the platform is not only affordable, but also convenient to users. Netflix’s presence in Africa not only offers an opportunity to keep Africans engaged with the entertainment world, but as an active target audience for new and innovative programming.