Finally, iROKOtv has launched in East Africa, with HQ’s in Kigali Rwanda and not Nairobi mostly likely due to the demise of One Africa Media’s Carey Eaton where iROKOtv East Africa would have been hosted.
In a blog post, Njoku said iROKOtv will be focused on Kigali Rwanda, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Kampala, Uganda to serve the 157m population.
“I have opted to NOT locate iROKOtv East Africa in Nairobi, as I had planned and others would have expected. In order to have a fresh perspective on the East of Africa, iROKOtv will sit in Kigali, Rwanda. I have a deeper post about why but that will be later when I set up and establish the team. Rwanda is located perfectly between Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania to enable our executives to serve the region comfortably. Also, the local market is too small to enable us to get lazy and attempt to build for that market alone which forces us to retain a broader, region-wide sense. I am really excited about 2014, as it’s a massively transitional year for the company. We finally have settled on the hard way ahead. [We expect to lose something like 95% of our traffic before the year’s out]. Now we just need to execute. ”
The subscription only service aims to bring Internet TV to Africa in a big way and to Njoku, East Africa is another door of opportunity with its proliferation of mobile money payment services and affordability of data, especially in Tanzania, the land of 4G.
With the adult population o M-PESA /mobile money and mobile financial services especially in Tanzania where there are also trillions of Tanzanian Shillings TSh in transaction volume and liquidity each month, Njoku says the region becomes super seductive.
Njoku also praises data affordability across the region as one of the factors that will drive iROKOtv’s penetration.
“I saw a unicorn in Tanzania. I came across an unlimited plan in Africa. I literally couldn’t believe it. Data is dirt cheap. Stupidly cheap. Suspiciously cheap. In Nigeria 500Mb is N2,000 [$12]. In Tanzania 35Gb is 20,000TSh [$12]. The largest problem for an Internet TV platform is the access to data. In Tanzania at least, that isn’t a problem.
So with payments pegged on mobile money and MSF’s and data cheap data, he says it makes sense to launch in East Africa and anyting that survives in Lagosian environment will thrive in East Africa. There’s no equal match to iROKOtv in East Africa, there’s ahuge demand for Nollywood and Bollywood movies in the region, and what local TV stations do is air only copies they have. M-NET’s African Magic is a premium service and expensive to many homes leave alone the GOtv the cheaper alternative. To many, the launch of iROKOtv is a saviour as they can have Nollwood from the source.
Nigerian music is also huge in East Africa popularised by the likes of Davido, Tiwa Savage, Iyanya, Olamide, Bracket, P-Square, Don Jazzy and recently Yemi Alade’s Johny and Tangerine fame. It makes perfect sense for iROKING to launch here too.Long live iROKO!