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Africa’s Streaming Service to rival Netflix

(first published (Sept. 18, 2017)

So when Netflix or Amazon Prime cannot provide the content suitable to local culture – what should be done.  Enter entrepreneurs to fill the gap, with relevant content to serve African nations.  Suleiman Nadabo is Co-Founder at Entertale.  He graduated from the University of Gävle, Stockholm County, Sweden.  Bamidele Adetayo the other co-founder  ia  CEO at Entertale.

On a beautiful Monday morning, Entertale inks a deal with Leomark Studios for access to the LA-based film distributor’s entire catalog of more than 200 titles.

The new streaming bundle — which marks the first African TV plus social and movie service — offers members access to Entertale’s growing offering of acclaimed African TV channels like ChannelsTV, Afromovie max, NTV Uganda, FashonTV, Afromusic channel, Joy news as well as hundreds of movies, including Double Crossed, First Cause, Mistaken, Nirvana, and more.

Entertale is a Pan-African social internet TV service that allows members stream African TV live, and watch movies with friends. New members can visit entertale.com/register to sign-up.

Their fundamental mission with Entertale is to connect African TV and perspectives to the world and make it accessible everywhere.

One of the major issues that all of these companies face is getting more subscribers to actually use their services. Netflix has opted to create original content, Amazon is offering its service as an accessory to Prime, and HBO just has some hit shows to justify the bill.

These things, however, are often not enough to capture the minds and hearts of subscribers worldwide. A lot of the time, people want to see content that is exceedingly relevant to them and their wider region and not just westernized shows that may hold little appeal to them.

Just as white western audiences have little interest in nollywood films, so it is that African audiences have little interest in mainstream tv and films where they are not represented.

This is precisely where services like Entertale come in. The app, which will be released soon, aims to capture an audience in wider Africa by delivering content and features which will be far more relevant to them than what services like Netflix might be offering.

For starters, Entertale’s basic features will be provided free of charge. This includes the ability to stream live TV and to share the experience with friends. The only thing that users will have to pay for is to rent certain content like new movies which would otherwise not be available to them. Entertale lets you watch Live TV like a traditional cable style in linear fashion that we are all use to.

For the live streaming part, Entertale aims to offer a “Pan African TV Bouquet” which will include a wide range of channels including news, movies, reality shows, fashion, music, and everything else that you might expect to find playing on your TV.

The social elements are a unique feature which no other streaming service offers without third-party add-ons. The app will have a feature called “Co-Play” which will allow a host of exciting features between friends.

To start with, you will be instantly notified when one of your friends starts watching something. Then, you will be able to chat with them and even start watching movies together. This is an experience that aims to recreate that feeling of old when everyone used to gather around and watch TV.

What separates Entertale from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is that it was specifically designed for black entertainment. Bamidele Adetayo and Suleiman Nabado, two Nigerians based in the US, specifically created the app to fill a gap of TV streaming tailored-made for an African audience around the world.

This kind of targeted content streaming is very likely to be the norm in the next few years. Services like Netflix struggle to expand internationally, particularly because they have to create content that is relevant to an incredible range of audiences.

The alternative, of course, is to produce specific content for each region, an undertaking that would be as massive as it would be costly. While such services frequently maintain regional teams, creating tailored content for such diverse audiences is an incredible challenge.