Nollywood gains through streaming platforms, as The Griot makes 2nd most watched Nigerian film on Netflix – Report

The Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, has recorded several wins in 2022 including streaming records, global recognition and diverse revenue sources, despite the loss of market share in the box office.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the cinema continues to struggle, with Nollywood’s market share sinking to 24 per cent in 2022 from a peak of 40 per cent in 2019, the industry grew in other ways.

According to a recent data report in “The Industry” by Inside Nollywood in Abuja on Wednesday, ‘The Griot’ was listed as the second most watched Nigerian film on Netflix globally and most watched across the country.

The movie, ‘The Griot’ stayed on the top 10 list every single day for 43 days.

It also stated that Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Anikulapo’ was the most watched Nigerian film on the platform in 2022.

On Amazon Prime, which launched its Nigerian operations in 2022, ‘King of Thieves’ was the most watched followed by ‘Hey You’ at number four.

According to the report, “Nollywood has found other ways to win.

“In areas where exhibitors and cinema distributors held stringent rules that stifled the growth of filmmakers and movie stars, streaming platforms have offered some form of monopoly and previously unseen access to fair compensation.”

It noted the ability for streaming platforms to pay decent sums for films, while reducing the pressure of a cinema flop on the filmmaker as a key reason for the uptick in straight-to-streaming films.

“A streaming platform is usually able to pay between $40,000 and $300, 000 depending on several factors.

“These include the pedigree of the filmmaker, the potential impact of the project, the type of project, the countries where said projects will be available, the duration of the licence and the negotiating power of a content aggregator.

“A lot of acquired films usually fall in the mid-point ($20,000 dollar and $150, 000 dollar) for high end projects.

“It is a one-time easy payment that does not need to be split into as many ways as the money that comes from the cinema.

“With streaming, Nollywood talents have gone global without doing the crazy work of travelling across the country to promote their films, thus missing out on other filming opportunities.

“For the audience, the convenience of sitting in their homes to try a Nollywood film is further increased by the freedom to stop watching halfway without feeling like a lot of money and time was lost,” the report said.

The report also stated that the industry experimented with new film genres, apart from comedy which earned great turnout in 2022.

“In 2022, only two of the top 10 Nollywood movies at the box office were comedies; Thriller was the dominant genre.

“The trend extended to the streaming platforms with gritty, down-to-earth thrillers and issue-led stories gaining more attention from the audience,” the report noted.