IROKO-TV

iRokotv has added a new “download” feature to it’s SVOD platform. It allows subscribers download movies for offline viewing.

In a super-stealth modification to its platform last week and a short announcement on its social media accounts yesterday, iRokotv announced that the new feature is now available to existing and new subscribers., and for free too.

But that’s not the news, not really. The reason why iRokotv is adding this new feature though might be.

“In Nigeria (and Africa), peak viewing is between 10am – 5pm. Office hours,” iRoko Partners’ co-founder, Jason Njoku told Techcabal while sharing the unique insight behind the modification.  “During this time, the ISP networks people are using are enterprise level data. This is the opposite to every other ‘normal’ (read Western) market. Yet we believe viewing patterns globally are similar. The difference is/was data availability,” he added.

In other words, Nigerians (Africans) do most streaming during the most productive hours of the day. And, this is a data point to be taken seriously.

A lot of reasons could be responsible for this, but I have two theories:

  1. Africans loathe their jobs and streaming videos during office hours is their only reprieve. (Just Kidding)
  2. When you put internet availability and cost of access into perspective, it might be that the only period Africans have robust and cheap (free) access is during the office hours.

Of course, this odd viewing bearing will not only beat down on quantity and quality of output by African working class and enterprises, but will also rack up a higher markup in data subscriptions for enterprises.

Interestingly, the new download feature is how the guys at iRokotv have chosen to respond to this odd viewing behaviour in the African VOD space. A smart move indeed. And enterprises can thank iRokotv later. Whether the new feature will actually translate into behaviour modification on the part of subscribers is what remains to be seen.

A good way to stop subscribers from streaming – and now downloading – via enterprise networks might be to provide cheap and accessible data, which is naturally beyond iRokotv’s sway. Then again iRokotv currently has agreements with Ghana’s Vodafone and Rwanda’s Tigo for cheap bundled services. Jason told Techcabal that the company will announce quite a few more partnerships with MNOs over the next few months. This will especially help in Nigeria, currently with the most expensive access to internet in the iRokotv’s African VOD space.

Downloads on iRokotv are naturally DRM protected, and while there are no time limits/viewing windows on the downloads, users are limited to ten movie downloads at any particular time. This means that subscribers can’t share downloaded files and cannot have more than ten movies available offline on the platform at any time.

Image via: iRokotv

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