×

Senior Exec at Africa’s Kwese to Be Named CEO of Joint Venture With Iflix Africa

Mayur Patel, currently senior vice president of Africa’s Kwese Mobile Experience, will be named CEO of a joint venture between Kwese and iflix Africa, the regional offshoot of Asia-based streaming service iflix, Variety has learned. The announcement will be made next week.

Patel’s appointment comes at a time of widespread turnover at iflix Africa, a turnover that began in late 2017 as fast-growing iflix continued its aggressive expansion into developing markets to get a jump on players such as Netflix and Amazon. “Most of the management team was dissolved” at one office, one former iflix Africa exec said. “Things weren’t defined. They didn’t know exactly what they wanted. There was a lot of inconsistencies about what we hoped to achieve.”

Kwese, a subsidiary of Econet Media, has emerged as one of Africa’s biggest players since its launch last year, pairing its pay-TV operations with an aggressive mobile strategy while inking deals with the likes of ESPN and Vice.

It also has a partnership with iflix, and announced Wednesday that it had upped its stakes in iflix Africa, with Econet Media CEO Joe Hundah telling Variety the companies would “combine our operations and ultimately offer one app containing both iflix [and Kwese] content.”

“This creates a much stronger proposition and makes sense,” said Hundah (pictured).

Since launching in Malaysia in 2015, iflix has rolled out services in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, positioning itself as an alternative to Netflix in emerging markets. With its launch in sub-Saharan Africa last June, iflix signaled its intent to capitalize on the continent’s youth population and fast-growing Internet and smartphone penetration.

Andre de Wit, then-iflix’s Africa chief, said of the launch: “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.”

De Wit left the company in November.

More Digital

  • Pandora voice mode

    Pandora Launches Voice Mode for Everyone

    After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands. Pandora’s voice mode is similar [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Target of Shareholder Lawsuits After Q2 Subscriber Shortfall

    Like clockwork, Netflix’s big miss on subscriber targets for the second quarter of 2019 have prompted lawsuits filed on behalf of shareholders. At least two suits seeking class-action standing were filed Monday, by the Rosen Law Firm and Schall Law Firm, which both specialize in investor litigation. The lawsuits allege Netflix violated SEC regulations by [...]

  • AMC’s Streamer Acorn TV Hires Kerensa

    AMC-Owned Streamer Acorn TV Hires Former Filmstruck Exec as International Boss

    Former Filmstruck International general manager Kerensa Samanidis has been appointed Acorn TV’s first international chief. As general manager, international, she will spearhead the growth of the AMC Networks-owned streamer outside of North America and Latin America. Last year, Acorn TV expanded into Australia, and New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Scandinavia. In the newly-created international [...]

  • apple AR patent application

    Apple Patents Gesture, Expression Tracking for Mixed Reality Headset

    Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset could include a number of sensors to track the eyes, gestures and even facial expressions of its users. The company applied for a patent to track these kinds of inputs, and combine them with information gathered from outward-facing sensors for mixed reality experiences. The patent application in question, simply titled [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content