Lack of cinemas hampering Nollywood growth — PwC

cinema used to illustrate the story

The absence of cinemas is hampering the growth of the Nigerian film industry, a report has shown.

The findings was contained in a report titled Entertainment and media outlook: 2018 – 2022 An African perspective was released by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Wednesday.

It showed that Nigeria currently boasts 114 cinema screens which service a population estimated, in 2018, at 198 million.

“With such a small number of venues, the sector will struggle to grow,” the report noted.

The report is an in-depth analysis of the trends shaping the entertainment and media industry in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.

Although 2017 was considered a strong year for Nollywood, thanks to the runaway success of the rom-com The Wedding Party, released in late-December 2016, figures from the report has shown that the revenue could be better.

“Overall box office revenue from the industry was only US$12 million. This is a small figure given that Nigeria is Africa’s second-largest economy behind South Africa.”

The shortcomings nonetheless, the reports said Nollywood remains hugely prolific, producing over 2 000 films a year. According to the report, in 2017, 50 Nigerian features were released, a record number, as Nollywood looks to move beyond its low-budget roots.

“Films made in Nollywood are generally straight-to-DVD affairs, which get minimal play in the cinemas. Local producers are trying to push more of their films into mainstream theatrical distribution” the report noted.

According to forecasts from the report, Box office revenue in Nigeria will reach US$18 million by 2022, up from US$12 million in 2017 and will represent an increase at a 8.0% CAGR.

Nigeria’s domestic film industry, known as ‘Nollywood’, has obvious capacity for faster growth. Production continues to boom and the industry produces around 2 000 features a year, which makes it second only to Bollywood in terms of production. But the exhibition sector remains tiny.

Although the number of digital cinema screens will double to 152 by 2022, that is to cater to a country with a population close to 200 million and where there is appetite for locally produced films.

Unlike its counterparts in the Nollywood, Nigerian musicians are obviously smiling to the bank this is going by the findings.

“Despite the barriers to growth represented by music piracy and high mobile data transmission costs, as well as low fixed-line broadband and smartphone penetration, Nigeria’s music scene is vibrant and generating healthy revenue growth.

” Streaming accounts for a negligible share of music revenue in Nigeria, but it is a sector that is growing strongly and the country has several homegrown all-you-can-listen-to music services, which compete with the big overseas brands like Apple Music and Deezer” the report noted.

Digital music revenue also overtook physical music revenue as far back as 2013, but mobile formats – essentially, caller ring back tones (RBTs) – account for virtually all of digital revenue in the Nigerian music industry.

It also showed that the Nigerian music industry is dominated by mobile telecom operators, which also own some of the country’s biggest streaming and downloading full-track services.

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