Jason Njoku, CEO of IrokoTV, has spoken up about the online movie-streaming platform’s difficult journey in recent years.
In a recent essay on his website, Njoku stated that in 2019, he had the choice of closing the company and distributing the remaining funds to stockholders, but instead chose to reinvest in IrokoTV.
The media executive described the last three years as “brutal,” owing to “debt restructuring, cost reductions, and completing the turnaround of iROKOtv.”
“Anyhow, when Iroko exited ROK in 2019, I had the opportunity to exit too, and at the time, even Bastian asked if it made sense to continue struggling away. After all, wasn’t it always about liquidity? I could close iROKOtv down, distribute the remaining cash to shareholders, and walk out into early semi-retirement. The story could have ended there. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis,” he added.
“For some strange reason, I still felt I had plenty of fight left. I knew what I knew, and I knew who we wanted to become.
“So we defocused on customer acquisition and productising Africa and just reverted to where 80% of our revenues were coming from; North America and Western Europe. We were back in survival mode. We needed a turnaround, but turnarounds aren’t rapid.”
He said despite the company’s challenges, international was always the revenue driver, adding that “89% of 2023 revenues are non-African”.
“We were in sustainable revenue. International was always the revenue driver – 89% of 2023 revenues are non-African,” he said.
In 2020, iROKOtv sacked 150 staff as part of its resizing process.
Speaking on the “article referencing disgruntled employees who were let go”, Njoku said they were “NEVER actual Iroko employees; they were employed by Ikenga, an agency, to manage paid campaigns for Iroko”.