Netflix Rival Iflix Walks Away From Africa Business To Focus On Asia
Iflix, the Netflix competitor that’s backed by Sky, is leaving Africa to pay more attention to its business in Asia.
The Malaysia-based company announced that it had sold off the last remaining shares in its Africa business — Kwesé Iflix — to Econet Group, the telecom company that was already an investor in the business. The deal size was not disclosed.
Kwesé Iflix covers the Iflix offering in eight countries — Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Zambia — with plans to expand to four more countries soon.
The conclusion of the deal means that Iflix’s total market coverage is 23 countries, including some markets in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and more.
The co-founder and CEO of Iflix, Mark Britt issued a statement saying that launching the Iflix service in Africa had been an incredible journey and a significant learning experience. He added that it was now time for Iflix to focus on its commitment to its core markets in Asia which were growing rapidly.
Econet-owned pay TV company Kwesé bought into Iflix’s Africa business in February 2018 and created the rebranded “Kwesé Iflix” joint venture. After that, Iflix divested its stake until finally walking away from the business as announced recently.
Iflix offers a “freemium” plan with a tier that costs around $3 per month. It has an audience of “millions” of subscribers. Its biggest rival is Netflix, which has started to trial more competitive pricing in Malaysia — Iflix’s flagship market — through a mobile-only offering that drops its subscription cost to around $4 each month.
Moves like this place Iflix and other regional streaming players such as HOOQ under a great deal of pressure if Netflix decides to go ahead and offer its cheaper subscription to more markets in Asia.
Both HOOQ and Iflix migrated to freemium earlier this year, and Iflix has doubled down on supply.
The Malaysian firm has initiated a $5 million program to back approximately 30 independent content makers across Asia as it journeys to widen its local programming library to compete with rivals which include traditional TV in Asia.
Credit: This article originated from www.techcrunch.com