The Media Blog: Jason Njoku has made a very, very important move with IrokoX

So, it’s always interesting to follow Jason’s Njoku’s moves – not just because iROKO is a big fish in a very clearly small pond, but also because he shares how his mind works, and even if it’s not the whole truth, it’s much better than anything you get in these parts.

He recently announced that iROKO has paid out 80% of its revenue – over N200 million – to its content partners. As announced, and without context, very generous. Even better, this arrangement has been formalised through the creation of IrokoX (shouldn’t it be IROKOx?) which will help indie content creators with the whole value chain: from production to distribution and monetisation.

This development, combined with events at places like Big Cabal Media, BHM Group and The Cable (and, come to think of it, here) is further proof of the bla bla bla that video is the future of media consumption on the African continent. And mobile is first, and second, and third.

Surely of the biggest trends out of Nigeria’s social media use has been the rise of creators of funny short form video content on Instagram like Chief Obi, Craze Clown, Ebiye, Emmanuella, and many others. If you visit Twitter or Instagram even semi-regularly, you have probably come across one of them before. One of their videos may even have landed on your WhatsApp.

That’s the thing. Africa is the fastest growing media space in the world because it has the lowest penetration of smartphones. The Deloitte Consumer Review says 97% of Africans will have a mobile subscription by 2017, and 39% of those will be a smartphone subscription. Those numbers will only go up, and the race is on to capture some of those eyeballs.

And with data prices going down (you will hear this a lot over the next few months as what was once niche wisdom will begin popular cliche), the one reality emerging is that people are THIRSTY for content. For anything! News, humour, odd ball, someone abusing Buhari’s mother. People are scrolling up and down on Instagram and Snapchat as if they don’t have family at home to talk to (sorry if that’s you!).

So creators have a limitless future ahead of them, and iROKO is here to both help, and exploit that massive opportunity. Which is clearly why, whatever business foibles Jason (appears to) make, the buy outs and buys in continue. The fundamentals of the future of that business in this continent are beyond strong.

Later this month, IrokoX will select some of these creators through an open call and put resources behind them to showcase their talents to a wider audience. So, if you have been honing your short form video skills, or if you ALREADY have content that’s drawings eyeballs on social – this is your chance to become part of a (soon to come) money printing machine.

What a time to be alive.

PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, opeds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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