Africa’s entertainment industry is sustained by creators getting access to the global online marketplace – Business Insider Africa

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The African media and entertainment sector is rarely brought into the discussion of worldwide markets, despite its revenue increase in the past years. According to Statista, internet users in Africa are mainly interested in social apps, casual games and entertainment. TikTok and Netflix are the first customer choices regarding video and movie watching. Considering the expected African entertainment revenue will reach US$104.60 in 2027, more creators nurture their creativity and resources to bring more light to the African media.
Hollywood’s depiction of the culture might’ve contributed to the lack of interest in African movies and media. Incorporating African accents is usually done with the help of American or European actors, who typically fail at it. At the same time, Western companies still stereotypically show the African culture, being inconsiderate of the country’s growth and progress. Finally, the lack of collaborations with African filmmakers and actors is a considerable miss.
Despite these considerations, Africa’s entertainment industry is booming, with social media creators and important figures contributing.
When the pandemic hit the world, people tried finding engaging activities to keep them at ease during worldwide uncertainties. This is when content creators and even regular people, like Elsa Majimbo, started posting regular content, such as videos, for people to relate to. Today, the same creator built a follower base that propelled her into the mainstream, appearing on magazine covers and fashion campaigns and being blessed with a home in West Hollywood.
Since African consumers invest their time and money into media, companies must keep up fast. As media marketing is emerging, Western audiences and markets barely get to the tip of African creativity. It may not be easy to access movies and series fully based on African concepts and culture, so that you can use VPN for Netflix.
Although the sector is getting more recognition, many forms of media, such as newspapers, live music, radio and traditional television, will be overtaken by new industries. These forms of entertainment are usually popular in less developed markets, but they will soon adapt to video and music streaming, internet advertising and social media as demand increases.
Of course, other media sectors are increasingly getting attention from the public, mainly mobile gaming. This became prominent after the pandemic changed people’s lifestyles, and their routine had to consist of something engaging ―not only on this continent but in the whole world.
Like other regions, Africa has some parts of the continent where innovation is more developed compared to others. For example, the South African zone is where the most innovation and talent come from, and sectors like film, animation and music innovate. Equipped with 5G technology, South Africa even has its own streaming service, Showmax.
Nigeria is also a highly targeted region, where the entertainment domain dominates music, film and fashion, so intense that Amazon intended to target the Nollywood Inkblot Production company. Inkblot actually made considerable efforts to improve the filmmaking industry and succeeded. Films like The Wedding Party and Omo Ghetto received critical acclaim and smashed records in 2019 and 2020.
But that’s not all. Kenya and Ghana hold great potential for media companies. For example, Netflix released an excellent Kenyan series called Country Queen. Even smaller markets, such as Rwanda, can contribute to growth in this sector.
Unfortunately, parts of the consistent where companies and investors bring less technological innovation are not given the deserved attention. For example, Saharan Africans are still not fully provided with an internet connection, and the high price of streaming data makes it almost impossible for users to consume media.
Seeing the high potential, governments and official institutions, such as the International Finance Corporation and more, looked into expanding possibilities and offering content creators the chance to attract viewership. Since the pandemic, when the trend of African creators increased, more social platforms introduced monetization tools that were incredibly accessible in Africa, like Instagram and YouTube.
The result was an instant growth in entertainment and media revenue in 2021 in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. At the same time, internet advertising became a prominent form of income, while music and video streaming are expected to surpass traditional TV subscriptions in Africa by 2026. Nigerian singers are also breaking the market, with figures like Burna Boy and Wizkid topping worldwide charts.
With the rise of African professional gamers, more regular people play mobile games every day. An extended sector catching the attention of the African public is the metaverse and NFTs. The Nigerian and South African NFT markets are some of the most developed. An increasing number of African people are experiencing different virtual worlds, leading to the first African metaverse ecosystem, Ubuntuland, which an ad agency has already purchased.
5G mobile technology is also a trend that spreads across Africa, which is a promising solution to reducing the costs of being connected to streaming services or other forms of entertainment. On the other hand, traditional forms of media like newspapers, magazines, cinemas and such will most likely decrease in demand in the future.
Local African media companies are receiving funds to provide content for the people, which is slowly turning into an entirely original effort. So, instead of reshaping Western content for Africa, content creators and companies are on a mission to bring genuine entertainment and proper platforms so that customers can get what they want. Mitigating the development of this industry is not easy for sure, but the creators’ potential is huge, so it’s best to take advantage of local talent and creativity.
Despite Western entertainment being present worldwide, Africa’s media and entertainment sector are slowly flourishing with the help of African content creators and companies pushing cultural barriers to show off the true side of the continent’s rich culture.

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