Have you ever been in a situation where people come up to you with an advertisement or talks about how you should invest in their movies in Nigeria? It can be a request with difficult answer. You’d most likely ask them to give you time to think it through. In this post, we’ll be sharing a movie maker’s opinion on should you invest in that movie or not in Nigeria?
A Brief Detail and History about Nigeria’s Movie Industry, Nollywood
Nigeria’s movie industry is called Nollywood. Nollywood is an iconic and popular movie industry beyond the shores of Nigeria. As at 2023, it is the second largest movie industry in the world in terms of output as about 50 movies are released into the market every week.
Nollywood, as an industry, started far back as the colonial times with the release of British-made “Palava.” “Palava” was a story of a colonial officer’s conflict with some members of a native tribe in North-Central region of Nigeria. There were also some movies shot during colonial times.
After colonialism, Nigerians went to shoot their own movies. The industry was mostly dull. It was in the 1990s that Nollywood took a new turn with the creativity breaming in that decade. Guess it was BBC’s adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” in the 1980s that fastened the growth of the industry. Then, the release of “Living in Bondage” in 1994 further fast-tracked the growth.
From 1994 till date, the industry has continued to grow and expand. The former center of shooting of most Nollywood movies was in Enugu. However, attention has shifted from Enugu to Asaba and Lagos. There are some movies still being shot in Enugu, though.
The editing, production, and marketing of most of these movies are done in Onitsha, Aba, and Lagos.
From 2010, a good number of Nigerian movies began to appear in cinemas as more Nigerians got used to the concept of Cinema. Thus, some producers choose to shoot high-budget movies and push them to the cinemas. Most of these cinema movies are shot in Lagos, and mostly produced and marketed in Lagos.
Meanwhile, from 2015 or thereabout, some movie producers began to upload their movies online. Some of these online movies are free to watch or you have to subscribe with little money to watch them. In addition, some of these movie producers also sold the rights to their movies to TV stations so they could be aired like on Magic Africa and so on.
Therefore, at the moment, Nollywood is of three categories:
First Category: The ones produced and marketed vie CD and DVD plates.
Second Category: The ones produced and marketed online. The ones shown on some movie stations are also part of this category.
Third Category: These ones are produced and marketed at cinemas. Sometimes, their CDs and DVDs are made available; however, it is more of cinemas.
The Worth of Nollywood
The Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry, is estimated to be worth around $2 billion or more. Due to the level of piracy of all creative works in Nigeria and Nigerians’ desire to watch movies for free or at minimal price, the industry doesn’t generate the right amount of wealth. Therefore, it is possible, most movies don’t make much money as they are supposed to.
Should you Invest in that Movie or Not in Nigeria?
This is a piece of advice a Nigerian film maker, Mr. Uche Agbo, has for Nigerians seeking to invest in movies or not. He posted it on his Facebook page. He states that
If you are an investor looking for where to invest your money this year and maybe by chance a filmmaker is by your corner asking you to invest in movies.
Don’t yet, until you read this.
The Nigeria film industry today from the outside seems to be very profitable. So, most people just invest in it with huge expectations and guess what, they end up most times disappointed.
Is film business, a good business to invest? Yes.
Should you invest without adequately asking the key questions? No.
As of today, these are key major markets: DVD, YouTube/Free to Air, Television (pay on demand/terrestrial), online streaming, cinema and maybe festivals.
Prepare your mind for one year circle to earn from any of the platforms. There could be a few exceptions.
If you don’t have big fund to compete in the Cinema and giant online streaming platforms, you are already into a big mess.
Most TV stations don’t pay beyond 4 Million in extreme best cases to acquire your contents. Most YouTube channels won’t pay you well, only 2/10 survives in that market unless you have a massive monetized YouTube channel.
Thus, you should know what you are getting into before you get into it. Nollywood is not as profitable as it looks. Before taking a leap into the industry, you should make research, ask pertinent questions, seek out the advice of professional movie makers. The industry can be moderately profitable if you know the right things to do.
This post has so far fully examined the question should you invest in that movie or not in Nigeria. The crux of the matter is that you should know deep details about the industry before going into it. That it might not be as profitable as you think doesn’t mean it is not profitable. You can make moderate as well as good income from the industry.