When it comes to discussing the biggest brands in movie and TV streaming, it is fair to say that one name tends to dominate many discussions. Netflix has grown to become a real powerhouse all over the world, with its official site outlining how it has around 183 million paid members based across around 190 countries.
Now, recent reports have gone on to put a spotlight on the platform’s performance in some African countries, with the service apparently enjoying plenty of growth.
Sites including Techweez have reported on new figures from Statista, which suggest the streaming service has been thriving in Kenya in recent times. Remarkably, it is thought that the number of active Netflix subscribers in the country has risen by 700 per cent in just three years to reach around 29,500.
Techweez has suggested that the increase may be linked to the growing number of fixed broadband connections in the country. However, it is also intriguing to note that the figures have emerged at a time when Netflix has spoken out on its commitment to both Africa and its creative industries.
In May, the streaming platform launched a special ‘Made in Africa’ collection of movies, TV shows and documentaries to coincide with Africa Month. In the official announcement related to the curated list, Netflix revealed how more than 100 different titles were featured, including original content such as Queen Sono and Blood & Water. Critically-acclaimed movies produced across the continent were also featured, while international titles filmed in countries all over the region were made available. The latter included Beasts of No Nation, which was filmed in Ghana, and Blood Diamond, which took in locations such as Morocco, Sierra Leone and South Africa.
This #AfricaMonth we celebrate amazing stories from across this beautiful continent. A collection of films, series and documentaries that are proudly #MadeInAfrica & streaming on Netflix. Check it out here: https://t.co/uasdtY2ztm pic.twitter.com/IBWlMVmRMK
— NetflixSA (@NetflixSA) May 4, 2020
A major impact
However, while the recent news on Netflix undoubtedly puts a spotlight on how the service is beginning to go to a new level in some African countries, it also highlights the huge role that streaming is now playing across the world of entertainment.
The technology is clearly having a major impact on film and TV, bringing a range of content directly to consumers who are subscribing to services in their thousands. The music industry globally has also been transformed by streaming, with the likes of Spotify developing a presence in many areas across the world. Furthermore, Music Ally reported last year on how Boomplay has become a major player in Africa, with it now having somewhere in the region of 53 million users.
Online casino sites have always been quick to embrace new innovations and they have also managed to integrate streaming into their services as well. As Casinos.co.za’s page on mobile casinos in South Africa outlines, some sites which are compatible with smartphones and tablets now also offer ‘live’ games which are hosted by dealers and presenters via a high-definition video link. Other parts of the gaming world are making use of the technology too, with Google notably launching Stadia last year. The service allows players to stream a range of titles directly to a number of devices without the need for a console or similar hardware.
Here to stay
With all of that in mind, it is fair to say that streaming has emerged to have a significant impact on how many people choose to watch TV, listen to music, play games and so much more.
Figures like those related to Netflix and Boomplay highlight how the technology is really coming to the fore across Africa and it will be fascinating to see whether user numbers continue to enjoy significant growth in the months and years ahead. Whatever happens, it seems certain that streaming is here to stay.