Reports have emerged that Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group has joined forces with iROKO to launch a mobile-first SVOD service in French-speaking Africa to bank on the boom of mobile Internet across the continent.
According to the Canal Plus Group, Sub Saharan Africa counts 250 million French-speakers across 23 countries. As many as 165 million smart phones are estimated to be in circulation before 2020,
Set to roll out in the coming months, the on-demand service will be a mobile-first Android App with download functionality, aimed to build a mobile-only subscriber base and will showcase popular French-language TV content on mobiles. The app will be entirely translated into French and all content will be in French.
Jacques du Puy, president of Canal Plus Overseas, said, “Now that Canal Plus is close to having two million pay TV households in Africa, our ambition is to widen our audience to those whose mobile is the main entertainment device. iROKO’s original approach integrating popular content production and mobile SVOD perfectly matches our group’s entertainment vision in French- Speaking Africa,”
He also added that, “This will also allow us to make more accessible the contents that we specifically produce and design for the African market.”
The deal fits into the group’s new focus on expanding its footprint globally. The company’s international-driven strategy was outlined by Vivendi boss Vincent Bollore over summer.
iROKO CEO Jason Njoku added that “iROKO has been committed to leading viewers to content they will love and Canal Plus Overseas shares our vision, translated into French. Canal Plus has over 20 years’ experience of delivering content to Francophone Africa, we have an unrivalled Nollywood content catalogue and have pioneered VOD in Africa.”
The partnership is expected to drive the Video on Demand industry across the francophone countries.