NextSpeel, an online video platform that streams African TV series
Launched in June 2013, the Nigerian online startup NextSpeel is making it possible for African soap operas and TV series to be legally accessed online. The site currently streams nearly a dozen on-demand series for free – no registration required. At the moment, NextSpeel plans to offer predominantly Nigerian shows before expanding across West Africa. For example, the most popular series this week include the series House Apart, Extended Family, My Mum and I, and Soul Sistas.
Competitively speaking, no one is quite like NextSpeel. The focus here is TV shows and soaps rather than full movies. Which to us is a good thing as it allows NextSpeel to stand out in an increasingly competitive online video market. Similar successful online video platforms include iROKOtv and Afrinolly but both focus on movies instead of television series. NextSpeel realizes that content is a main differentiator. Nigerian movies may be all over the internet, but officially licensed TV series are less common.
TechMoran has a great interview with the founder, Larry Oti. He describes the history behind the platform and what future plans entail (think mobile improvements, more diverse content, and wider geographic coverage). Another interview with HumanIPO explains the logistics of streaming video and how the NextSpeel business works.
Key challenges for NextSpeel will be licensing new content, improving mobile video delivery, and generating revenue. Monetizing is currently done through paid in-video ads, but premium subscriptions may be considered once a loyal customer base is cultivated. The mobile platform has been improved since launch but still does not play video on most mobile devices. Plus, dealing with mobile data plans could be tough: at minimum, it takes 50 megabytes to stream an episode – much more if the content is available in HD format.