StarTimes to Open Nige­rian Dig­i­tal Con­tent to Chi­nese Mar­ket

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD | E-BUSINESS -

Sto­ries by Emma Okonji

StarTimes Nige­ria is per­fect­ing plans to ex­port dig­i­tal con­tent pro­duc­tions from the Nige­ria’s multi-bil­lion naira Nol­ly­wood in­dus­try to the Chi­nese mar­ket, where the au­di­ence is grow­ing at an im­pres­sive rate.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, StarTimes Nige­ria, Justin Zhang, who made the dis­clo­sure re­cently, said: “The op­por­tu­ni­ties are enor­mous for Nol­ly­wood in China. Ev­ery­day, more and more Chi­nese nationals be­come in­ter­ested in Nol­ly­wood movies. We hear good things about Nol­ly­wood movies and this is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment for the in­dus­try. StarTimes is work­ing with one of the ma­jor movie dis­trib­u­tors in China and is al­ready hold­ing talks with the min­is­ter of in­for­ma­tion, stake­hold­ers in Nige­ria’s movie dis­tri­bu­tion sec­tor and a Bank to see to a suc­cess­ful ex­por­ta­tion of Nige­rian movies to China.”

As world’s most pop­u­lous coun­try with 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple, China’s cin­ema mar­ket cur­rently has a stag­ger­ing 45,000 screens as com­pared to Nige­ria’s 200. This, ac­cord­ing to Zhang, is an op­por­tu­nity for the Nige­rian movie in­dus­try to step up in terms of pro­duc­tion qual­ity in a bid to reap the ben­e­fits of a larger au­di­ence.

“Apart from the fact that many jobs will be cre­ated when this kicks off, it is also an op­por­tu­nity for pro­duc­ers in Nige­ria to in­crease their earn­ings. Imag­ine if a Nol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion is ex­ported to the Chi­nese box of­fice where over 45,000 screens ex­ist, the op­por­tu­ni­ties are un­end­ing. It will be a dream come true for us at StarTimes to see Nol­ly­wood movies gross­ing up to $50 mil­lion in the box of­fice,” he said.

In the first nine months of this year, China added a little over 7,500 new cin­ema screens, con­tin­u­ing a trend seen over the past few years. China has been build­ing cin­ema screens at a rate of over 12 a day for the past five years, ris­ing to 27 a day this year.

Over the years, StarTimes Nige­ria has sup­ported the lo­cal­i­sa­tion of Chi­nese movies and cur­rently also owns a fea­tured con­tent plat­form, with 440 au­tho­rised chan­nels across Africa, con­sist­ing of news, movies, se­ries, sports, en­ter­tain­ment, chil­dren’s pro­grams, fash­ion, re­li­gion and lots more.

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