Over the last few years, we have seen the development and growth of the video-on-demand sector. iROKOtv is the undisputed leader in Nigeria. It commands great brand equity and is a recognizable leader in the industry.
But in coming years, the sector will see massive competition. With DStv, TStv, Showmax, GoTv, Supersports and the regular TV stations competing for attention, it is time for iROKOtv to explore if it can build a merchandising business in Nigeria. I do think there is a latent opportunity in the market for that, and any new revenue source will help the firm to finance its growth. It needs contents to stay on top with amalgam of options like Netflix arriving in the region.
For iROKOtv to have effective merchandizing, it may need to begin building characters in its movies. And that means, having a long theme that runs seasonably instead of the one-off model of today where movies come, and movies go. This present model cannot easily allow the firm to develop characters which can connect with fans, to open the merchandising business. The following are areas it can build merchandising business:
- Action figurines
I also suggest that iROKOtv explores working with its top actors and actresses on merchandising. Besides, it can also partner with leading supermarkets like Shoprite to display its characters in its stores. As a modern company, having a Konga store to sell these items will be good. It can outsource the merchandising business so that it is not distracted from its core movie making business. And most importantly, it must make sure that the distribution channel is well managed to avoid the piracy of its wares.
Walt Disney Co. is a merchandise behemoth and Netflix is working on developing a huge merchandising business. But for iROKOtv to have success, relatively, like these American companies, it must develop a roadmap that produces movie series and premieres as I have noted above. As it does that, it needs to think critically about what kids will want and that means making movies for kids in Africa so that it can monetize the merchandising via toys, shirts and other things.
When you have more sources of revenue in any business, good things happen. I do think iROKOtv can make merchandizing work out. It simply needs to outsource it to partners who will take all the risks.