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Industry Moves: IROKOtv Signs Netflix Partnership Deal but will History Speak Well of CEO Jason Njoku?


Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter, iROKOtvTo be a great defensive basketball player, one important rule you can never forget is “keep your eyes on the ball.” If you do your job well, you will find that the opposing team has a lot more turn overs and that your team stays winning. Why? Well, with a strong showing on defense, probability is that you have blocked shots Dikembe Mutombo style, played some solid post up games, set and call some screens, attempted and made your shots, and for the shots you miss, hustle hard (I mean rebound and dive for that ball if that is what it takes), regain possession and simply follow through. The reward of your shots just “hitting net all day” makes that hustle priceless. If you play a great defensive game, most of the time, you will find that your team ends up on offense. They have the ball possession during the game a majority of the time and they will feed you the ball and trust you to deliver.

Two days ago, I played one of those kinds of basketball games with the fellas. It was a great game. Now make no mistake about it. You can’t hustle that hard and not expect to sustain some scratches and bruises. In fact I walked away with some. You gotta always make room with such an aggressive defensive game for the fouls. You give some and of course you get some too. In any event, the point is that a great defensive game means you keep your eyes/eye on the ball. It doesn’t matter what your opponent does with his body, the head fakes etc. Keep your eyes on that ball. Where it moves you move. Sooner or later, it becomes a dance and game you understand so well.

When I think of Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter’s (co-founders of IROKOtv) recent moves and most especially their partnership deal with Netflix, I can’t help but think of my basketball experience a couple of days ago. I feel like I want to hi-five Jason as if he and Bastian were on that court, on my winning team of course, a few days ago and say,” atta boi, now that’s how you play that game! That’s how you do it.”

I can’t hi-five everybody. So Bastian just gets a wink. 🙂 Anyway, since they both weren’t on my team, an AML cyber hi-five will and should suffice.

I applaud these men for their recent IROKOtv partnership moves with Netflix. In my view, the move represents a clear focus and message to anyone who will listen. The message goes like this, “we understand our identity. We know our market, we know our competitors, we can foresee what the future looks like in this space and guess what, we came to own this thing and shut it down. Full stop. Period.”

I don’t know about you all but that’s how I like to play ball or watch ball being played whether it be in the courtroom, on the basketball court or watching entrepreneurs make solid moves like these. It is exciting times ahead in the technology, media and entertainment space, especially in Africa. The question is, when all is said and done, “will history speak well of Jason Njoku and his partner Bastian Gotter?”

I think it will because these men dared to do it, but time will tell. For now, the gloves are off. Boyz are not smiling. Jason is hungry, Bastian is hungry and the world is keenly watching this game.

Don’t you dare touch that dial.

-Ms. Uduak

“According to IROKOtv CEO, Jason Njoku, IROKOtv has signed a deal with Netflix to support their launch of a dedicated African section, on Netflix.

Netflix, the world’s leading internet TV service, famous for shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, quite recently featured Nigerian movie, October 1st and now, courtesy of IROKOtv, they will feature a larger assortment of African content.

While the terms of the deal are not clear yet, it is a favorable distribution model for IROKOtv as it continues in its quest to bring Internet TV and African content together.

Why this move? Asides from the fact that Netflix has 57m subscribers globally, and will definitely improve the visibility of Nollywood, Jason says, “This is something I yearned for with YouTube so many years ago, and was ultimately the reason I created IROKOtv.”

I think about competition in many dimensions. When I burn bridges to focus, they burn. IROKO’s focus is on Android, super encoded and compressed downloads in Lagos. We have established a beach head. We want to win Lagos. Scratch that. We need to win Lagos. I am betting the entire company on it…” – has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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