Among Netflix's ever-increasing global presence, a lack of African content is puzzling

FP Staff

May 18, 2018 12:08:46 IST

That Netflix is aggressively pursuing global domination in streaming movies and TV shows is no secret. Only a few days back the streaming giant announced that the bulk of its spending in 2018 will be on original content.

Netflix has also moved past being strictly a US-based company and now delivers content all across the globe. While American work dominates its portfolio, it has also had breakout hits in other languages and with shows set in other countries. In particular, a show like Dark, a German thriller, became a worldwide sensation on its release. The company is also working on the highly-anticipated show Sacred Games, which is based on Indian author Vikram Chandra's book.

Netflix's logo/Image from Twitter.

Netflix's logo/Image from Twitter.

As such, it is strange to notice that while so much international cinema is getting its moment in the sun, that oft-ignored continent of Africa is well, being ignored again. As pointed out by Quartz, there are no Africa-based shows on the streaming platform. Netflix has an original production budget of $8 billion in 2018, and with lower production costs in Africa, even a fraction of that amount could transform pan-African TV and movie industry.

The article does however point out that Netflix only started work in Africa in 2016 so it might well have future plans in the continent. Further, even before Netflix arrived, Nigeria's iROKOtv was delivering shows via deals with iTunes and Amazon. It also has garnered investment to generate original content so Netflix doesn't exactly have the field to itself. Nevertheless, it would be encouraging to see Netflix announce some Africa-based content both to establish a greater foothold in the country as well as to dispel the general ignorance about the continent.

Updated Date: May 18, 2018 12:08:46 IST