4 African-Owned Film Streaming Platforms You Should Check Out

Africa’s video-on-demand subscription is projected to hit 13.7 million in 2027, with Netflix accounting for 47%. This does not account for indigenously owned streaming platforms, and with digital streaming giants like Prime, Netflix, and Disney Plus dominating the market, it gets easy to overlook local platforms that promote the uniqueness of African communities and their cultures. 

It’s a new year and the perfect time to explore newer things, including digital streaming platforms. Here, we have compiled a list of 4 African-owned film streaming platforms providing the space for authentic African stories to reach a larger audience while retaining their true African voices. 

1. Showmax

Showmax film streaming platform

Since Showmax launched in 2015 as a subsidiary of Multichoice, it has gone on to become one of the best streaming platforms in Africa, competing with top SVOD (Subscription Video On-Demand) service, Netflix. In a recent interview, Showmax CEO, Marc Jury, noted that Multichoice had dedicated half its general entertainment budget, $1 billion, in the 2023 financial year to producing more than 30 Showmax originals across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. There are different genres on Showmax, ranging from thriller, comedy, animation, romance, crime, and more. They have popular reality shows like Big Brother Naija, The Real Housewives of Lagos, Emmy award-winning shows like Succession, The Last of Us, and The White Lotus, and originals like Wura. 

South Africa’s Showmax does not plan to leave the market anytime soon. Recently, the platform doubled down on its entertainment game with a relaunch set for February, focusing on a mobile-only subscription for the European Premier League, which will cost 2,900 Naira. The app is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.

2. IROKOtv

One of Africa’s first digital streaming platforms, IROKOtv has been providing African movies on demand since the early 2010s. Despite rumors of shutting down last year in October, Jason Njoku IROKOtv has repositioned the platform for growth, focusing on the African diaspora. It offers over 5000 Nollywood titles, including classics like Where Men Rule (2021), Untamed (2021), and Silent Sound (2021). IROKOtv is a great place to start if you’re looking for Nigerian movies that have left the mainstream platforms.  You can find the app on Google Play Store and the App Store or stream directly from the website.

3. KweliTv

Kweli means truth, and true to its name, KweliTv is a digital platform devoted to telling stories of black creators through films, documentaries, web series, animation, and kids’ shows. Launched by DeShuna Spencer in 2016, the Swahili streaming platform is home to different films, housed in a black and enthusiastic orange interface. They offer their users the most flexible subscription options, including a monthly and annual subscription with no ads and a monthly and Kwelikids with ads, all at affordable rates. 

Some of its more popular shows that capture the black diaspora are Paris Blues in Harlem, 1804 – The Hidden History of Haiti, Black History Cartoon Series, and Afropolitaine, a web series focused on Afro-French culture. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

4. IbakaTv

Founded in Lagos by Nigerian entertainer Blessed Idornigie, IbakaTv has gone a long way since 2011. With an audience of over 500 million, the digital platform provides a vast library of Nollywood, Ghallywood, and other African films and TV shows. Apart from their Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD) app available on Google Play Store and the App Store, they also have a free YouTube channel where you can stream and download your favorite Nollywood movies. They offer a monthly plan of 2,000 Naira, a quarterly plan of 5,000 Naira, and a yearly plan of 20,000 Naira. Some of the Nollywood films on IbakaTv are Toyin Abraham’s The Ghost and the Tout (2018), and Trump Card (2023), starring Bolanle Ninalowo.

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