Netflix has spent a cumulative $175 million (Sh23.5 billion) in film production in Africa since it gained entry in 2016, creating at least 12,000 jobs in the process.

     

    During the seven years, the online video streaming giant has focused its operations on the three sub-Saharan African countries of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, with the latter ranking as the continent’s largest contributor of content to the site.

     

    In its socio-economic impact report that paid attention to the three countries covering the period between 2016 and 2022, Netflix says their investments in films, documentaries and reality shows create thousands of jobs year-on-year for both cast and crew, as well as for workers in crucial adjacent sectors such as transport, costumes and design and catering, among others.

     

    “Having injected over $175 million into sub-Saharan Africa since 2016, providing employment to more than 10,000 people on our productions, watching our local storytelling partners shine in far-flung reaches of the world, we can attest to the fact that there is a huge socio-economic benefit that Netflix injects into the ecosystems where we operate,” said Netflix director of public policy, sub-Saharan Africa, Shola Sanni.

    “We were thrilled by the significant milestones that our investments delivered within a relatively short frame of time, particularly in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.”

     

    Netflix says during the period, its activities in the three countries have generated $218 million (Sh29.3 billion) towards the gross domestic product value, $44 million (Sh6 billion) in tax revenues and $200 million (Sh26.8 billion) of increased household income.

     

    In May last year, the US streaming service rolled out a Sh33 million kitty to support the production of three Kenyan movies through the training of actors, at the time declining to reveal the titles of the films.

     

    The sponsorship was part of a memorandum of understanding signed between Netflix and the ICT ministry geared towards improving skill capacity and supporting the local movie industry.

     

    One of the world’s largest video streaming services, Netflix boasts of over 222 million subscribers covering 190 countries.

     

    The company lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of last year due to competition from rival streaming services such as Disney, Apple TV and HBO Max, as well as a crackdown on password sharing.

     

    The firm was this year forced to cut the subscription prices for its Kenyan clientele by an average of 37 percent, as part of incentivising its service in the wake of rapidly growing competition.

     

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