Desktop experience and streaming service on Lagos-based iROKOtv will be shuttered in Africa as the company redefines the experience on its video-on-demand platform.
iROKOtv’s CEO, Jason Njoku announced few moments ago. “In Africa, we will essentially retire the .com,” Jason said.
The company will now focus on an exclusive mobile experience for its African users and the new platform will preclude streaming service, but will instead focus a download-only experience. The company says “discovery and download” for offline viewing will be the new experience.
The restructure will kick-off by July 2015, but the company says existing African subscribers will have continued access to the website. Only “new users will be unable to see the desktop reality,” they added.
The shift in the service delivery MO at iROKOtv is coming on the strength of data available on the mobile and ISP subscribers in Nigeria and Africa where about 15% of its revenue is generated.
“76% of our users are via the mobile internet. Android has taken time to take root but is comfortably on the way to becoming the dominating operating system in Nigeria and Africa,” Jason said. “If Nigerian Internet is mobile, the Internet TV company which wins needs to go mobile. It needs to embrace and build for that apparently simple (yet incredibly complicated ) reality.”
iROKOtv’s pivot here is however not as mercurial as it may appear. Back in April, the company introduced a download feature on its platform that allows users download movies for offline viewing. The odds are, what now obviously was a quiet experiment, has caught on very well paving a clear path for iROKOtv’s restructuring.
The company will leave its services on the global space as is. “Globally, where 85% of our revenues and subscribers lay, will remain untouched,” the company says. “Streaming largely works just fine there.
iROKOtv is not the first Nigerian internet company to set a course for mobile-only. Last month, in what turns out to be a grand experiment, local e-tailer, Konga announced a 5-day shutdown of its website, directing all transaction to its mobile application.
This may as well turn out a limited-time shut down from iROKOtv, but the company’s tone does not suggest an experimental approach to its mobile-only focus, and Jason track record doesn’t make it hard to believe that he could be burning bridges entirely.
Image via: iROKOtv