In August 2017, Econet Media and iFlix Africa announced a partnership that saw iFlix, a subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service that focuses on developing markets launch its services in Africa. At that time, the strategic collaboration was to benefit from and leverage off Econet Media’s established market expertise in conjunction with the learnings iflix acquired in consolidating its dominance throughout Asia and MENA.
And now, the two companies have announced that Econet Media’s Kwesé has eventually acquired substantial stake in iFlix Africa – meaning, Kwesé now owns iFlix Africa. Since iFlix launched in Africa, uptake of the service has been low and this deal is meant to help iFlix utilize Kwesé’s local expertise to grow its userbase.
In October last year, Kwesé launched their PayTV service in Nigeria and other African countries, a move that saw the company rivalling Naspers’ Multichoice with their DSTV service. Remarkably, Naspers also owns ShowMax, a SVoD service, therefore, with iFlix now in the hands of Kwesé, the company is going head to head with Naspers.
Speaking during the announcement, Strive Masiyiwa who is the Econet Group Founder and Executive Chairman, said;
“We are thrilled to deepen our operating partnership with iflix to lead the transformation of media in Africa. Our companies share a mutual passion for innovation, along with a deep understanding of the culture and evolution of digital businesses. Mobility in content consumption has grown exponentially in Africa and by partnering with iflix Africa we are ensuring that we are not only taking part in the evolution, but are leading the movement.”
Kwesé is at present available in 13 countries with its PayTV service and in 25 countries with its Kwesé Free Sports channel that broadcasts free sports.