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Globally, Streaming Media is Booming but in Africa it is Regressing

Nigerian video-on-demand company IROKO is to pivot from focusing on African growth and target customers in North America and Western Europe as it looks to stem losses caused by, among other things, COVID-19, at the cost of around 150 jobs. IROKO, which sold ROK, its African film studio and international TV network, to CANAL+ Group last year and had been targeting an initial public offering some time this year, has been hit hard by the economic fallout from the crisis after initially seeing positive signs. While initially international subscriptions daily additions grew by 200 per cent, with April the company’s best month ever, consumer confidence then ebbed before collapsing completely. Between April and July IROKO lost 70 per cent of its subscribers. IROKO furloughed 28 per cent of its team members in May, but has now had to take even more drastic measures as it looks to reduce its losses. While losing subscribers in Africa, internationally the company is “effortlessly growing”, according to Njoku. The CEO, who added that IROKO has accumulated net operating losses of over US$30 million over its lifetime, will now be defocusing on Africa, at the cost of around 150 jobs.