Afrikan Dust Media, a media company based in Cape Town, South Africa recently launched Wabona, a pay per view video streaming service in South Africa with a focus on local content tightening competition in a market already served by iROKO Partners, DStv’s Box Office, MeTVAfrica, Buni TV and Africafilms.tv.
The founders, Simukayi Mukuna and Simbarashe Mabasha say Wabona gives an affordable, easy-to-access Video-On-Demand service. They add that viewers can access Wabona on personal computers, tablets and smart phones with other platforms under development.
Simbarashe Mabasha says; “The evolution and growth of the African media industry in part is due to the democracy of access provided by the internet. Wabona is positioned to open new doors for people all over the world to get a glimpse of Africa and its rich, beautiful and diverse stories and cultures”.
Though no one can deny the role democracies play to enhance business growth particularly by opening information access online, one player in the industry is worth noting. iROKO Partners, world’s largest distributor of African entertainment launched in December 2010, and began a trade no one else was doing. iROKO Partners buys online licences of movies and music directly from producers and recording artists and streams them online to a global Diaspora audience. To date , iROKO Partners has assembled the world’s largest online library of awesome African content with a global audience of over 6 million unique users from 178 different countries. Are they afraid of competition? No, they don’t see Wabona as that.
According to Jessica Hope, Head of Global Communications at iROKO Partners this is good for them.
Hope told TechMoran, “We welcome new players into the world of online entertainment – they’re helping to popularise the Internet, in emerging nations, as a key platform to access awesome content.”
And their figures speak the truth. iROKO Partners growth has propelled the African film industry by taking Nollywood to such a large audience and putting the industry at the top on the charts. According to WTM Global Trends Report 2012, ‘Nollywood’, is the world’s second largest film industry in volume terms, second only to India’s Bollywood and bigger than US’s Hollywood with over 2,000 films produced annually.
The launch of Wabona demonstrates the role internet is playing on the continent particularly to the and entertainment and film industry.