The coronavirus has not only claimed the lives of people but has also disrupted a lot of businesses globally. Many people have lost jobs due to the pandemic as it has forced them to close. Some of these businesses include restaurants, bars, salons, and barbershops. Even big companies have suffered losses in their revenues. Let us see how this has turned to be a boon for Kannywood.
The sector of entertainment has also fallen as people are not gathering to have fun due to the social distancing rule. Coronavirus has affected the film industry and some producers are lacking the market for their films. However, online streaming platforms such as Netflix have made it easy for its subscribers to continue entertaining themselves while at home. This is because they have reduced their rates of subscription. Recently, the platform has added African films in its catalog, hence saving most African film producers.
Despite the significant fall of the film industry, the Hausa-language cinema nicknamed Kannywood is thriving. The film industry in Nigeria is strengthening.
What is Kannywood?
It is the Hausa-language movie industry of Northern Nigeria located in the state of Kano. The northern part of Nigeria consists mostly of Muslims. Kannywood has become the main source of entertainment for West Africa’s over 76 million Hausa speakers. Kannywood is a portion of the bigger Nigerian cinema called Nollywood.
It came up in the late 1990s with more than 5 production firms. It strengthened to involve more than 500 production outfits and over 90 editing studios. The film industry employs over 28,000 people. Kannywood movies have similar themes like love, revenge, and others such as betrayal. The films they create must follow strict Islamic laws.
What is Northflix?
Northflix is the film’s industry online streaming platform. The customer base increased since the government put lockdowns to control the coronavirus disease. The number of its subscribers has increased while the revenue has tripled. Jamil Abdussalam is its Chief executive officer and Co-founder.
Coronavirus as a Blessing in Disguise
Kabiru Sufi, an economist, gave credit towards the success of the streaming platform to its smart business tech. The CEO says Northflix initially used the pay-per-view mechanism. Later on, it changed to flat-rate subscriptions after the coronavirus attacked other regions. The fee for the services is over 1000 naira in a month.
The Co-founder says the lockdown was such a blessing to the online streaming platform. This is because the citizens opted to stream their best films via the platform.
Abdulkarim Mohammed, a filmmaker, says:
“It was a lifesaver for film producers who would not have had the avenue of making money from their movies.”
The better part of the story is that the customers stuck to the Northflix platform despite the easing of the virus restrictions.
Challenges of the New Business Environment
Nigerian telecommunications services are not good. There are signal disruptions, very high data costs, and piracy. However, the Northflix has been surviving the crisis.
The owner says:
“With a single bar, you can watch a movie without disruption. It does not freeze and our network is capable of buffering the video.”