Netflix plans African originals in 2019

By Content Nigeria reporter
December 7, 2018


US-based international streaming company Netflix has confirmed plans to invest more in African programming next year as its local content strategy rolls out further.

Erik Barmack at Content London

Original African series will be commissioned by the company in 2019 and Netflix is already on the look-out for original scripts with local casts. The company will reportedly have spent US$12bn on content by the end of this year.

Netflix VP of international originals Erik Barmack said: “Netflix’s Europe team is in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa. It’s definitely the case that we’ll commission some series there in 2019.”

Speaking at C21’s Content London conference last week, Barmack said the move was part of Netflix’s global ambitions and that international content would soon eclipse that from the US as the most watched in the world.

“There’s going to come a time when half of the top 10 most watched shows in a given year are going to come from outside of the US. I don’t think that’s actually far away. That’s going to come in years, not decades. Shows with multinational casts will become the norm,” he said.

“It can’t be the case that America or Hollywood is somehow 10, 15, 20 times better at telling stories, nor is it the case that audiences in one or two countries are the full audience for a scripted series.

“What we’re going to see, what we’re seeing now, is this is all going to get pulled apart and replaced with a concept of TV coming from anywhere and going to anywhere, in the same way you can put on a music playlist and go from country to country without thinking about it.”

Barmack also unveiled two new European commissions in his keynote at the event: Young Wallander, based on the popular detective character created by novelist Henning Mankell, and an as-yet-untitled French project set in 18th century Paris.

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