Producers deliberated on the issue of revenues at the recently concluded Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit.
A plenary, attended by many TV industry producers, addressed the topic of What Producers Want: The Battle For Revenues & Justifying Production Investments.
Speakers included TV presenter and Rave TV CEO Agatha Amata, EMCOAN president Paul Igwe, EbonyLife TV’s head of programming Heidi Huys and Ana Ballo, CEO of RTI Distribution. The session was moderated by Ijeoma Onah, founder of NITV and sister event Nigeria International Film Summit.
Speaking about producers’ expectations and how the industry often falls short of them, Amata said that new producers in Nigeria must have a side business in order to sustain their work.
“Producers should stick to their day jobs because if the content holders don’t get their channels picked they can go back to the beginning,” she said.
However, according to Huys, producers can ensure growth in business and increase in revenue with the right strategy. “Budgets ever only go one way and that is down. Therefore, to remain sustainable you must realise that creating content is not about all you love but what your market likes,” she said.
“Learn to know what appeals to them, prepare content based on that and success is ensured because people will go out of their way to seek your content.
“Your decision to produce as a producer should always be dependent on demand, if you want to make it in this country, otherwise you will be left hanging. The problem is that when we produce we don’t have people in mind, we just produce and that’s not right,” said Igwe.
The panel agreed that it is hard to develop content in Nigeria and expect full returns because there are no records, no favourable policies from the government and hardly any support.
“In Nigeria, we have no data. We do not have facts that support our information because there are no templates to operate on,” said Amata.
The first roundtable session of the Nigeria International Television Summit addressed the need for TV producers to create relevant content in the broadcast industry.
The discussion was led by Ahmadou Bakayoko, director general of Ivory Coast public broadcaster RTI, who showcased the promotion of Nollywood content on screen.
The other speakers on Wednesday included Ana Ballo, head of distribution arm RTI Distribution; Paul Igwe, president of content owners trade association EMCOAN; and Ariyikie Oladipo, film producer at EMCOAN.
The various media stakeholders deliberated on the necessity for Nigeria and Ivory Coast to partner and collaborate in order to promote African content.
“We aim to promote and distribute RTI’s own productions in Ivory Coast and abroad,” Ballo said.
There needs to be a shift from the norm and producers need to come up with new ideas that will replace existing ones on television, she added. “We require stories that have volume of content.”
In view of this, producers ought to know their market and consumer demands so that they can effectively produce meaningful content, the panel agreed.
Emphasising the point, Oladipo revealed that EMCOAN only uses equipment of international standard, which gives it the best quality content.
Coproduction was also top of the agenda, with panel members believing it would help strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. “You cannot make money alone,” Ahmadou said, concluding that partnerships are important.
Making high-quality, premium content is the way to go for the TV industry, the panel concluded.