Our $85m Investments in Local Content Via Africa Magic Under Threat—MultiChoice
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A foremost pay-tv service provider in Africa, MultiChoice, has raised an alarm that its over $85 million investments in local content through Africa Magic are under threat from piracy.
The Africa Magic channel airs movies produced by local filmmakers across the continent.
MultiChoice said it pumped that amount of money into domestic content over the last few years to create opportunities for young creators to earn a living from their work and for Africa to tell its authentic stories.
It noted that this was done through the production and acquisition of films promoting the African culture, but stressed that the gains recorded from this initiative could be eroded if the governments fail to join forces to tackle piracy.
In addition to its impact on the entertainment industry, the company emphasised that its contributions have also injected significant financial support into adjacent industries, such as travel, hospitality, construction, and manufacturing sectors, all of which are jeopardised by the scourge of piracy.
The Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels at MultiChoice West Africa, Ms Busola Tejumola, while commenting on the detrimental impact of content theft, described piracy as unchecked theft that endangers the existence of jobs and the well-being of communities across Africa.
She noted that as content distribution has evolved to encompass various devices and platforms, content piracy has evolved in tandem.
According to her, producers, studios, and rights-holders now find themselves in a technology arms race against pirates, striving to develop content-security strategies to protect their brand reputation, revenue, and the livelihoods of thousands who depend on the industry.
“We recently launched a continent-wide television campaign to emphasise how piracy erases African stories and jeopardises jobs in the production and creative industries.
“If piracy remains unchecked, it will result in fewer African stories being told, fewer local productions commissioned, and fewer opportunities for content producers.
“I appeal to our nation and our continent to unite against piracy and empower Africa’s creatives to earn a living from their talent,” she said.