There is demand for Nigerian TV series but not enough supply.
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In our recent report on the top 30 movies watched on Netflix in 2022 by Nigerian consumers, we highlighted that out of the 30 most watched movies last year, 16 titles are Nollywood movie titles, of which an indigenous flick by Kunle Afolayan, “Anikulapo”, ranked first.
Unlike the case with Nollywood titles being in high demand on Netflix Naija, the demand for Nollywood series is low.
This report will reveal, this has been a year-on-year phenomenon with Nigerian series on the streaming platform.
In 2020, the year that the world was recovering from COVID-19 and the lockdown affected the box office business, thereby driving demand to streaming platforms, the percentage of Nollywood titles seen was just 7%, as compared to Korean series which had 16.67% and Hollywood series which had 50%.
Nollywood series seen that year included “Before 30” and “The Journey of The African Colony”.
In 2021, though the figure increased slightly, it was still nothing so impressive to write home about, especially when compared to series from other countries like America and Korea.
With 10%, only three Nollywood series made it to the top 30 list in 2021. The series are “King of Boys: The Return of The King”, “The Smart Money Woman” and “Castle and Castle”.
Despite the lowness in number, none of the titles even made it to the top 5 on the list.
Kemi Adetiba’s “King of Boys: The Return of The King” ranked 7th, Bunmi Ajakaiye’s “The Smart Money Woman” was in the 13th position, while Mo Abudu’s “Castle and Castle” took the 24th position. As much as this was a development from the previous year, it still wasn’t good enough.
That year, Korea’s performance dropped to 13%, while America’s performance rose to 57%.
Despite the fall in the demand for the Korean series, three Korean titles made it to the top 10. They are “Vincenzo”, “Squid Game” and “The King’s Affection”. “Vincenzo” and “Squid Game” were the top two titles on the list. The other Korean series on the list was “Tale of The 9 Tails”.
17 American series made it to the list.
In 2022, there was no improvement for Nollywood. It remained at 10% with titles like “Blood Sisters”, “Castle & Castle” and “Young, Famous and African” on the list.
It is important to note that “Blood Sisters”, co-directed by Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang, went global and was a success.
Unlike Nollywood, there was a high increase in the demand for Korean series, which increased to 30%.
9 of its titles were in the top 30, with “Alchemy of Souls” ranking first.
Hollywood series dropped to 43%. It had 13 titles on the list, with 4 in the top 10.
The low demand for Nollywood series might be linked to the low supply of series by Nigerian producers.
Recently, most series have been produced by streaming platforms. Two of the three Nollywood series on the 2022 list are Netflix Originals.
In December last year, Netflix released another Original, “Far From Home”, whose performance data will be out and well studied in the next quarter.
On the 20th of January 2023, it will release another, “Shanty Town.”
So far, and as the top 30 movies and series data have shown, the industry favours making movies more than it favours TV.
This is largely because MultiChoice remains the biggest commissioner for TV shows and has no major competitor. It will be no gainsaying to say that there’ll be no TV industry in Nigeria without MultiChoice.
Perhaps with more than five of such companies investing in TV shows year in year out, maybe the narrative will be different.
Over the decade, TV executives have failed to invest enough in making original TV programming, and one reason for this failure to invest is due to the advert pool which is quite too small for them to take the risk and for returns to be made.
That might change soon, especially now that there is a business model for it. With the streamers here, it’s a viable time to fill in this demand and push the TV industry to the next level.
Unlike what the situation is in other climes, the TV industry with networks like BBC, CBS, ABC, TVN, etc. have grown over the years and has been able to make cutting-edge advancements.
The 2023 licensing and commissioning from streamers has begun. Hopefully, this demand is filled and consumers get to watch more TV shows that can feature on the top 30 list.
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