It is official: Amazon Prime Video is coming to town and means business.

Amazon Prime Video is coming to Nigeria with some tricks up its sleeves; is this trouble for Netflix?

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I stumbled on a tweet saying that video streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, will kick Netflix out of Nigeria before June 2023, and immediately swung into action to find out how true it is that the video streaming platform was joining the scramble for Africa’s largest population. A few searches, and it turns out it is true: Amazon Prime Video really is investing in partnerships, staffing, and resources for the Nigerian market. Below is the tweet that got me started on this article.

Amazon Prime Video in Nigeria

It gets juicier though, as I hunted around and found another piece of information confirming that Amazon Prime Video is indeed setting up in Nigeria.

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The platform is reported to have already signed deals and is building a London-based team for its Nigerian Originals.

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Anthill Studios have been mentioned as already signed a production deal. Inkblot Productions is another that is already signed as well. There is a lot of extra money coming into the system from these deals, so it is a good development for the industry and the economy as a whole.

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But will Amazon Prime Video kick Netflix out of Nigeria?

Fat chance. It isn’t likely to happen. Their presence will spice up the market, though. I like the idea of carrier billing, and I believe it is a brilliant move on Amazon Prime’s part. What is carrier billing? It is a system that allows mobile subscribers to pay for services using their airtime. So, an MTN subscriber can, for example, pay for a video subscription from whatever airtime they have.

Carrier billing isn’t a new concept. It has been around for years and has been proven to be an effective payment channel, especially for micro payments. We shall see how Amazon Prime implements it here. Of course, like other video streaming services, in addition to the subscription, users will need a stable Internet connection. There is no shortage of data plans in Nigeria these days. And the capacity to deliver better and more affordable Internet is there. At last count, there are 6 submarine cables landing in Nigeria, with over 80% capacity unused. The submarine cables include:

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  1. SAT-3/WASC or South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine cable
  2. MainOne cable
  3. Globacom-1 or Glo1 cable
  4. African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable by the Dolphin consortium that includes: Dolphin Telecom, Orange, MTN, and others.
  5. West African Cable System (WACS) by MTN
  6. Equiano by Google and the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC)

You can read up more details about submarine cables in Nigeria. There is room for an explosion in video streaming. DStv and Netflix, the two major streaming platforms in Nigeria, can expect serious competition in the months ahead. Amazon Prime Video is coming to town and it looks like they mean business.

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