A brief encounter with Adi Nduka-Agwu, iRokoTV

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The Promota magazine was happy to talk to Head of Business Development for iROKO Partners, Africa, Adibeli Nduka-Agwu.

What is the background of the people behind iRokoTV? Are you all Nigerians?

iROKO Partners' HQ is in Lagos, but we have offices in London, Lagos, South Africa and New York, so we have a diverse staff from around the world.  


When was iRokoTV partners launched?

iROKO Partners was launched in December 2010, so we have just celebrated our second birthday, iROKOtv was launched a year later in 2011.  Since launching we have built an awesome library of over 5000 films.


Is iRokoTV only dedicated for Nollywood movies and why?

At the moment, we have mostly Nollywood movies on our site because that's where the company started; purchasing the online licences to Nollywood movies so we could legally stream the online, on-demand. Nollywood is the world's second largest movie industry (in terms of output)  and before we came onto the scene, there was no legal online presence for Nollywood. 


Do you have plans to expand to other parts of Africa?

We have recently opened a new office in South Africa, so naturally we're considering all options there and we also know that Africa is producing some incredible content, so we're looking at ways to make this even more popular.


Do you find bandwidth challenges to smoothly run iRokoTV?

More people watch iROKOtv in London than they do in the whole of Nigeria – this is due to broadband penetration. So yes, bandwith is an issue in Africa, but we're always searching for solutions to problems! For example, when we built the new iROKOtv app with Nokia, they helped us to compress the files to help improve buffering. 


What are the challenges you encountered getting funding?

We didn't really encounter any challenges as we were approached by our Investors. They heard about what we were doing, liked the business model,.   particularly the way in which we meet the enormous global demand for quality Nollywood.


what is iROKO doing to reach out to the Diaspora?

The Diaspora currently makes up the majority of our viewership – some of our largest markets are in the US, UK, Canada and France. We've reached out to it by streaming thousands of awesome Nollywood movies on for free. They can also join together to chat about our movies – we have a very active online community leaving comments on the movies and keeping up with all the news on Twitter – @iROKOtv – and on Facebook. Part of the reason that iROKO was founded was because the Diaspora weren’t able to access Nollywood films online and now iROKOtv’s awesome catalogue of high quality films is accessible to Africans worldwide.


How is iROKOTV likely to benefit from the recent fibre-optic cable laid along the West African coast?

Anything that helps improve people's access to broadband is great for us – we know that a lot of Nigerians are desperate to get their hands on free, high quality Nollywood movies but they don't have the means to do it yet. With improved broadband penetration, we predict there will be more people visiting 


How does one get to watch iROKOTV?  

Visit – online or on a mobile, search for your favourite films and click play. It's super easy, you don't even need to register! The new Nokia partnership also means that Lumia 8 users can have an app specially built for the phone as well as free access to iROKOtv+ for three months!


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