I believe the new move to a subscription only model, by IROKO Partners and Jason Njoku, makes sense. The time, to me, has come for such a shift at this point in the company’s history and also looking at competing models in the market place.
I also note his statement that “it’s really interesting to watch how many in the local ecosystem in Nigeria want iROKO to fail. . .”
In my experience, I find his statement to be so true. It is interesting for me too to observe and also be the recipient of contacts made with such statements made explicitly to me.
I think there is a distinction with disagreeing with someone’s approach to business, execution or overall business philosophy and attitude and wanting them to fail or being excited and hoping they fail. I do think, however, that when Jason Njoku first got on the tech-entertainment business scene, he was completely rude and downright disrespectful to many within the eco-system and very loud mouthed. Over time, business experiences seem to have humbled him.
It is important to note that it wasn’t just a complete “hate Jason and see IROKO TV fail” mantra that greeted Jason when he first arrived on the scene. He also had his own part that he played, so let’s not play total complete victim here Jason. There has to be a certain ownership and responsibility of the part Jason played, as well, that fueled some of this hate.
Nevertheless, as indicated before, if Jason Njoku and IROKO TV fails, it has a big impact on us as a community and our entire entertainment eco-system. We should encourage, support and of course reprimand where applicable but not wish failure for other people because we don’t like them or what have you.
This morning is the end of the beginning for iROKOtv. After spending the best part of 2.5 years building a multi-million dollar freemium service with 95% free and 5% paid for at $5 (3 month commitments), we are going to spend the rest of 2014 dismantling it. We are basically going to kill iROKOtv Free. Advertising as a business model, which generated several million dollars of revenue last year and has been the heart of the company since inception, will be swiftly put to the sword. This will definitely be the most dramatic thing I have ever been part of. Scary and exciting at the same time. We are currently generating revenue in 170 countries, in 140 countries [classified as ROW] the average revenue per free viewer is ~$0.15 per month versus a paid viewer stands at ~$6.
From this morning, we are aligning the business we so diligently created into more digestible but valuable chunks globally. But it is the speed and success which will determine whether we are an awesome case study in VOD or a cautionary tale of over ambition and hubris.
iROKOtv PLUS for Everyone
This morning begins the migration of 140 countries to a subscription only service. Really simple value proposition. 14-day free trial. Access to over 10,000 hours of truly the best Nollywood content. No adverts. Everyone is being asked to contribute if they truly value Nollywood content. The 140 countries represent around >400,000 uniques per month. We are about to go conversion crazy. I am literally betting the entire company and millions of dollars of revenue on a dramatic shift to a paid only model. That is the only future I see. I have waxed lyrical about my love for the subscription economy. The last 3 months have only increased that love. We start with 140 countries but expect to migrate everything over in the near future. Some have speculated about the success of our subscription business. We just keep on building and moving.
Signal from the Noise.
It’s really interesting to watch how many in the local ecosystem in Nigeria want iROKO to fail. Perhaps it not iROKO but me. Perhaps they want my wings clipped or something. But everything which comes out from a competitor is always seen as signs of our ominous destruction. Of our death. I am happy to kill something and lose revenue in the short term for a longer term gain.
Just.me.Jason Njoku. has the full story.