Netflix Works to Gain Subscribers in Africa

A Stumbling Block for the World’s Largest Streaming Company

Netflix (NFLX) has become the largest subscription-based streaming service in the world. During the first two quarters of 2020, the company added 26 million new paid subscribers globally.

However, Netflix is struggling to gain traction in Africa after entering the market five years ago. The continent is home to over one billion people, but only 1.4 million of them are Netflix subscribers. In contrast, almost 20 million people in Africa subscribe to the African-based pay-TV service, MultiChoice Group Ltd.

Most Netflix customers in Africa are from the wealthiest segment of the population. Many people have limited access to broadband internet and can watch pirated media or content on other platforms more cheaply than Netflix content. The streaming giant is now working on a number of new strategies for reaching more subscribers in Africa.

Offering Cheaper, Mobile-Only Subscriptions

Netflix is testing a cheaper, mobile-only subscription in Nigeria. 4G mobile networks are expanding rapidly in the country, giving streaming companies the ability to connect with more viewers.

Netflix is charging 1,200 Nigerian naira, or $2.65, per month for its new service. Over 100 million people in Nigeria live on less than $1.90 per day, so the new subscription option may still be too expensive for many.

Creating Locally-Produced Content

Netflix is also creating more locally-produced shows that reflect the daily lives of people. The company has already seen success with “Queen Sono,” a show about a secret agent in South Africa, and “Blood and Water,” a drama set in Cape Town about a girl trying to find her sister.

The company is now working on comedy, reality TV, and content for children. The new shows are tailored to a variety of different cultures in Africa and are available in multiple languages.

As the battle for market share in the streaming industry wages on, investors will be eager to see how Netflix’s strategies in Africa play out.

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