Asia-based streaming service iflix is to begin operations in sub-Saharan Africa. It is opening facilities in South Africa and plans to roll out services in the second and third quarters of this year in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
The outfit began operations in 2015 in Malaysia and has now rolled out services in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The latest moves will extend its territories to 23. It claims a current 5 million subscribers.
It will offer a lineup that on launch includes Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood movies. It plans to include other African shows and movies, and exclusive African series.
After launching in May 2015, iflix quickly established its dominance in Asia, rolling out its world-class service to 18 markets across the region and MENA in less than two years. It wants to challenge Netflix in emerging markets. In Africa, iflix hopes to capitalize on the sub-Saharan region’s large youth population and rapidly growing Internet and smartphone penetration.
Iflix was originally backed by Australian entrepreneur Mark Britt’s Catcha Group and has in the last year attracted investment from U.S. cable giant Liberty International as well as from European pay-TV giant Sky.
“As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content. By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those [increasingly] connected viewers,” Britt said in a statement.
“We are passionately focused on providing the broadest selection of premium content at a price everyone can afford. We can’t wait to tackle both the enormous opportunities and challenges ahead in serving this incredibly diverse and exciting region,” said Andre de Wet, iflix Head of Africa.