Netflix looks to telecom reconciliations in tough African markets

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Netflix is ​​showing more content made in Africa and working with telecom operators to facilitate payments for potential subscribers, a senior executive said ahead of its third quarter results on Tuesday.

Netflix, the online content streaming giant, which has 193 million subscribers worldwide, wants to expand in Africa. Netflix is ​​looking for ways to overcome challenges, including slow and expensive internet access and the lack of proper payment infrastructure on the continent of 55 countries.

“Given the low penetration of credit cards across the continent… we have partnered with local telecom operators… so that their customers can add Netflix subscriptions to their bills,” said Dorothy Ghettuba, Head of Netflix original programming for Africa.

She said they already have partnerships with Vodacom and Telkom in South Africa, adding that Netflix is ​​looking for other links.

Expensive high-speed internet in some countries is also a major challenge, Ghettuba said, adding that Netflix is ​​trying to solve this problem by allowing Wi-Fi downloads for later viewing rather than using expensive mobile data for streaming. .

Netflix, well established in South Africa and Nigeria, is now looking to the Kenyan market, Ghettuba said.

Netflix, excited by Africa

The pay-TV market in Africa is dominated by the South African group Multichoice, which has an advantage over Netflix thanks to its dozens of channels dedicated to news and live sporting events. The South African group, in addition to its entertainment channels showing films, series and documentaries, has also launched the online streaming service Showmax to compete directly with Netflix.

To improve its attractiveness on the market, Netflix has strengthened its library with African productions. “The company is excited about Africa and is doing everything behind it,” said Ghettuba, who joined Netflix last year after a decade at the helm of a Kenyan production house.

Ghettuba declined to specify the value of Netflix’s investments in Africa, but the company has entered into a series of content licensing agreements with African producers in markets such as Senegal, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique. – Reported by Duncan Miriri, (c) 2020 Reuters

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