Iroko, Nigerian entertainment Startup Company is set to launch IrokoX, a multi-platform Pan-African network for filmmakers, musicians, and other creative aspirants to produce, distribute, and monetize short-form content reports TechCrunch
The new medium will provide select artists production assistance, studio resources, and the opportunity to show their work on global partner networks such as Youtube, iTunes, and Google Play. IrokoX also provides Africa’s creative set a platform to digitally monetize their 3-5 minute video shorts.
“It will operate on an 80/20 split revenue share model for the majority of users—the artists get 80 percent,” said IrokoX General Manager Oluchi Enuha. “We are going after something akin to a Maker Studios, whereby Africa’s professional and semi-professional creators can produce quality digital content, market it, share it with larger audiences, and get paid,” he said, referring to the U.S. based multi-channel network purchased by Disney for $500 million in 2014.
Backed by $35 million in funding from investors such as Kinnevik and Tiger Global, IrokoX’s parent, Iroko, was founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Jason Njoku in 2010.
Iroko’s new short-form video platform compliments its existing iroking Afrobeat download site and signature irokotv product—a subscription based movie-on-demand service with users in over 100 countries.
In 2014, Iroko established ROK Studios, headquartered in Lagos, to produce its own film and television content.
IrokoX will soon leverage these facilities, and Iroko’s New York and London offices, when it selects a round of artists from its first open call. “We’ll launch a link this month where anyone can apply. Musicians, fashion designers, journalists, anyone can submit a demo and follow the application process,” said Enuha.
IrokoX will then pair selected artists to production resources, sponsorship, and distribution channels. Iroko is already Youtube’s largest content partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a company release.
So how will IrokoX generate the revenue for its 80/20 split? “We’ll draw on several streams: ad revenue, distribution platform sales with download sites such as iTunes and Spotify, content syndication with third party mobile and social media platforms, and brand marketing deals,” said Enuhu.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, has become a powerhouse for the continent’s creative content, producing pop music and Nollywood films with broad Pan-African appeal.