Brands key to Nigerian format growth
MIPFORMATS: One of Nigeria’s prominent producers believes the region’s formats industry is at a tipping point, fuelled by growing investment from brands.
Neil Oyenekan, MD/CEO of Lagos-based Lighthouse Television & Filmworks, said funding from clients and their advertising agencies has become as important as that of TV networks, adding that the next few months will be crucial for the industry’s progression.
“Independent production companies are key to content creation in Nigeria but brand agencies are too,” said Oyenekan, who was speaking on a panel discussion here in Cannes about whether Nigeria will host the next formats boom.
So far, he said, the country’s biggest hits have been tried and tested adaptations of international formats such as Big Brother and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
But Oyenekan said that his company is close to unveiling a new format with African mobile telecoms company MTN Group, with details yet to be revealed, and claimed brands have been powering growth.
“We are only just getting to the phase where we are receiving investment and it’s coming from brands, not networks. By Mipcom we’ll be at a better point,” he added.
“Nigeria has a growing economy where brand investment is important and the Nollywood crowd is waiting to find the next big format. Upsurge in infrastructure is also happening, where big studios are being built – now all that’s missing is the content.”
Oyenekan was speaking at a conference session in Cannes, France, titled The Producers Toolbox: Will Nigeria Host The Next Format Boom? Four speakers addressed the topic, discussing the TV industry in Nigeria and the efforts to develop original TV formats and content for domestic and international markets.
Also on the panel were Chichi Nwoko, CEO of Hey, What’s On?; Olasupo Odebiyi, creative director of Pixelator Multimedia; and Duncan Irvine, CEO of TV production company Rapid Blue.