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After Double-Digit Growth in 2020, Nigeria-Based Media Company IROKO Plans to Go Public

Nigeria-based media company IROKO has big plans to go public in the next year on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market. Founded in 2011 by Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter, IROKO is a West African film streaming service that showcases an extensive catalog of Nollywood film content. It was rumored that the company planned to go public back in 2019, but after a few mishaps and having to weather business through the coronavirus pandemic, talks of IROKO going public are back on the table. “What we can achieve in private, we can equally achieve as a public company. We will likely open up the IPO to our loyal members too so they can capture the value too, which I am super excited about. One thing about IROKO is that we have always been pioneers and we’re okay being super experimental,” Njoku told TechCrunch. “I plan to open-source the entire process so any other African company coming behind — if we’re successful — will benefit from our experience.” This is such a big step...

Feb 10, 2021

TV Exec Darnell Washington Launches 'Black Wall Street TV' Streaming Service to Honor Tulsa's History

Tulsa, OK native Darnell Washington — who has over 30 years of experience in television broadcasting sales, management, and ownership — has launched a new streaming service called the Black Wall Street TV Network inspired by his hometown’s historical breeding ground for successful Black entrepreneurs, Black Business reports. “We are a special TV viewing experience growing into the future,” according to the network’s website. “Rising from the ashes of the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre, this TV Network thrives on the success that Tulsa’s Black Wall Street of 2021 now encompasses.” Black Wall Street is known to be one of the most prosperous Black communities in the early 1900s and is famously associated with flourishing Black-owned businesses. Since the Tulsa Race Massacre, the town has since rebuilt itself to once again be a vibrant and economically-stable area that’s moving toward a brighter future. Washington’s BWS-TV Network — free to anyone with an internet connection — now aims...

Jan 22, 2021

BET Founder Bob Johnson, AMC Networks to Rebrand Black-Focused Streaming Service UMC As 'ALLBLK'

The year of 2020 is when streaming services took over and it looks like their epic reign will continue throughout 2021. UMC — the Black-focused streaming service created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson — announced plans to launch a rebrand under the name “ALLBLK” in January 2021 to ramp up on Black TV and film content. This first quarter launch will find the streaming service debuting a premium look and feel for ALLBLK as it’s scheduled to produce a robust slate of original series next year – including the previously announced multi-cam comedy, “Millennials”; MC Lyte sitcom, “Partners In Rhyme”; legal drama,”Lace”; haircare makeover series, “My Mane Problem”; and the Datari Turner/eOne reality series, “Notorious Queens.” UMC was initially created as a first-to-market subscription streaming service focused primarily on targeting Black audiences, with dedicated content for and by Black people. “UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely...

Dec 11, 2020

This Couple Launched a Black-Centered Streaming Service to Bring Pan-African Stories to the Masses

In today’s entertainment world, streaming has taken over and almost every major cable network has opted to launch a streaming platform to keep up with the steep competition. Of those major platforms competing for that number one spot, a new streaming-service has now burst onto the scene with a mission to introduce pan-African stories to the world and explode African stereotypes often seen on mainstream TV shows, African Business Magazine reports . AfroLand TV — founded by Zimbabwean actor turned entrepreneur Michael Maponga and his wife — is a subscription-based video-on-demand streaming platform that curates Pan-African film and TV content for viewing. According to Maponga, the platform is “bridging Pan-African stories globally.” The Dallas-based media streaming startup has boldly branded “our stories are for everyone” on AfroLand TV’s website . It’s also been dubbed by the 2020 Berlinale International Film Festival in Germany as “the new Netflix or Disney+ for Africa,” African...

Oct 16, 2020

DOJ Warns Academy About Potential Rules Excluding Streaming From Oscars

It’s no secret that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have transformed the film industry. These services have become such huge competitors that the Academy allegedly considered changing the Oscars requirements to make it harder for streaming service originals to qualify. Now, the Department of Justice is stepping in to warn the Academy that altering the rules could raise antitrust concerns, according to Variety. “In the event that the Academy — an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership — establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns,” Chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim said in a letter to the Academy. The DOJ cited rules against competitors making anticompetitive agreements and said that excluding streaming services from the Academy could negatively impact their sales. Director Steven Spielberg was among those...

Apr 4, 2019

Report: Video Streaming Services Hit An All Time High In 2018, Beating Cable For The First Time

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) just announced its annual theme report detailing how streaming services are shifting trends in the film industry. Video streaming surpassed cable subscriptions for the first time in 2018. Subscriptions to streaming services reached 613 million, a 27 percent increase from the previous year. Services like Netflix and Amazon made their mark at this year’s Oscars with nominations and wins. Netflix Original “Roma” walked away with three wins including best director, best cinematography and best foreign language film. The company also won an Oscar for its documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” With four Oscars in 2019, Netflix tied with Fox, Disney and Universal for the most studio wins. Netflix is also getting more strategic with its content. In February, the service released “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” an interactive film that allowed viewers to make choices for the main character. According to a GDPR request , the company recorded the...

Mar 22, 2019