You’ve probably heard that iROKOtv will be charging its users to watch movies on its platform starting from July 1.
But perhaps what’s news is that the subscription fee of $5/month (about N800/month) would only apply to Nollywood movies released in 2012, while other movies can be watched for free.
My first impression was: this makes a lot of sense, even though I had initial doubts about paying to use the service to watch only Nollywood movies. But hey, I think iROKOtv’s subscription fee is quite reasonable at $5/month for the latest movies.
However, my concern is how many Nollywood movies released in 2012 would users be able to watch per week or per month. Jason told me that there are currently over 250 movies from 2012 already available on the platform, out of the over 5000 movies in its catalogue. He also mentioned that iROKOtv would continue to release 2012 movies on a weekly basis.
Last November, I suggested that iROKOtv could charge its members a small fee for watching movies (without ads) and for free (with ads) on its platform. But now, I’m not sure if those 2012 movies would be streamed ad free. If they were streamed with ads, then it wouldn’t make sense to pay to watch and get inundated with ads.
As mentioned earlier, another challenge would be the fact that there are broadband connectivity issues and high cost, which could easily be a turn-off to watch subscription-based Nollywood movies.
That said, iROKOtv would still have to rely on its foreign and diaspora audience for these subscriptions, especially since there are available payment options such as PayPal and Credit Cards. And that would mean that its Nigerian audience would have to look elsewhere to watch Nollywood movies for free.
Still, if iROKOtv could bring us full length episodes of our favourite and popular TV shows such as Naija Sings, Big Brother Africa, etc as well as TV soap operas such as Village Headmaster, Super Story, etc, just like Netflix, it could provide a better value proposition to charge for subscriptions.
Until then, Jason would still have to put a gun to my head to pay for iROKOtv’s subscription, as I’m not really a big fan of Nollywood movies.