Loosing one of its entities to the Nigeria Video on Demand (VoD) market, the Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service owned by MultiChoice is at risk of growing competition from indigenous content creators
In grand style, EbonyLife TV announced the launch of its mobile app- EbonyLife ON on the 3rd of July to join the existing bandwagon of online video streaming platform in Nigeria. The announcement also brings an end to its presence on DSTv, although, according to the founder who also doubles as a popular TV personality and movie producer, Mo Abudu; the traditional EbonyLife TV channel will no longer be available on satellite TV starting from 31st July 2020.
Taking the announcement to her Twitter handle, Mo Abudu tweeted that “Remember when we used to wait a whole week to watch our favorite TV shows? Well, those days are gone forever! Now, we can binge on the whole series if we want to. Therefore, we have decided that EbonyLife TV will no longer be available on DStv from 31st July 2020.”
Although, launching its own streaming platform is a laudable move, especially as it comes in the time when people are now paying more attention to the digital streaming market, however, Ebony Life will now be joining the likes of Iroko TV, Ibaka TV, Multichoice’s Showmax, Netflix, among others, and making the VoD market a lot more stringent in the country.
Currently, there is an erupting competition from foreign platforms including Netflix, and Amazon, who appears to be accomodating more local content now, although, Amazon in its own case is reportedly planning to join Showmax on the cable network; Of course, this does not necessarily render any of the indigenous VoD platform irrelevant, but considering the hype attached to most of the foreign networks, it will be a great tussle therein.
Bearing in mind the competitive market ahead, Ebony Life is set to offer more than what it traditionally offers on DSTV; according to a reliable source, the Global Black Entertainment & Lifestyle network will be streaming original Nollywood movies produced by EbonyLife Studios, as well as other supplementary content like drama series, TV shows, and documentaries. In the meantime, it appears as though the platform will only accommodate local content.
With the above stated, a few users who have operated the platform have noticed that some of the anticipated movies that were produced by Mo Abudu which are currently on Netflix are nowhere to be found on the EbonyLife ON’s platform. While many are anticipating the debut of some of these movies on the EL ON’s platform, it’s too early to assume that most of those movies were outrightly bought by Netflix.
EbonyLife ON vs Others
Currently, there are at least six VoD streaming platforms available to Nigerians; Ibaka TV, Iroko TV, Airtel TV, Showmax, DSTV Now, and Netflix, among others that may be absent on the list. With the new entrant, EL ON, it only means an added alternative for Nigerians.
However, to say EbonyLife ON will be play a significant role in the over saturated market is relative, although, giving the quality of its production in terms of content and presentation, one could say the new platform is in the league of its own as it boasts of top notch quality.
While quality alone might not attract that desired ttraffic, the affordability of the platform is also a key factor to consider; like most of the other platforms, EbonyLife ON also offers two mode of subscription- Monthly and Annual subscription package which goes for $2.99 (~₦1,300) and $24.99 (~₦11,000) respectively.
Unfortunately, EL ON offers no free trial period neither access to multiple devices like Netflix and Dstv Now, however, users can view trailers and movie premier events without a subscription. Well, this might not be a major concern for the platform, considering that majority of the indigenous streaming platforms do not offer such luxury either.
Can the Platform stand the Test of Time
Maybe Yes! given its top standard, and if considering the likes of LindaIkeji TV who didn’t survive past two years after launch, one could also be scared that the new platform may suffer the same fate if it doesn’t drive on a sustainable model.
On the other hand, taking a closer look at the entire content produced in the Nollywood industry, EbonyLife contributes significantly to that course. For instance, Mo Abudu takes part in the success of a long list of Evergreen Movies including Fifty, Chief Daddy, The Wedding Party, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, among several others. With this track record of success, one can expect a more amazing outcome from the new platform, especially now that it is going to compete with top dogs in the industry.