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iROKOtv “kills” its free viewing business model

By , IT in government editor
Africa , 29 Apr 2014

iROKOtv “kills” its free viewing business model

Nollywood streaming website iROKOtv is making a U-turn regarding its business model by switching to a predominantly subscription based approach.

Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the popular Nigerian content distribution website, Jason Njoku, took his personal blog on Monday to announce that he plans to “kill iROKOtv Free”.

In the blogpost, Njoku said after two and a half years of “building a multi-million dollar freemium service with 95% free and 5% paid for at $5 (three month commitments), we are going to spend the rest of 2014 dismantling it”.

The move comes about after officials from iROKOtv last year said that the service is only planning to be profitable in 2015.

“This will definitely be the most dramatic thing I have ever been part of. Scary and exciting at the same time. We are currently generating revenue in 170 countries, in 140 countries the average revenue per free viewer is $0.15 per month versus a paid viewer stands at $6,” Njoku wrote.

Launched in 2010 iROKOtv has attracted a user base of Nigerians in the diaspora allowing them to watch Nollywood films over the internet.

Last year Njoku told ITWeb Africa that his service has a catalogue of around 5,000 films with the industry’s biggest artists and covering genres from family to drama, comedy and horror.

He added that through the service they attract 1 million unique visitors every single month, watching from 178 countries like the US, UK and Canada, as well as Malaysia, Thailand and Hungary.

According to Njoku the migration process to subscription based model, which has been launched under the banner “iROKOtv PLUS for Everyone”, would begin in 140 countries where users access the online movie service.

“This morning begins the migration of 140 countries to a subscription only service,” the blogpost reads.

It continues, “Really simple value proposition. 14-day free trial. Access to over 10,000 hours of truly the best Nollywood content. No adverts. Everyone is being asked to contribute if they truly value Nollywood content...We are about to go conversion crazy.”

Njoku added that although the migration process starts with 140 countries plans are in place to migrate everything over in the near future.

“Some have speculated about the success of our subscription business. We just keep on building and moving,” Njoku wrote on his blog.

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