This year, Netflix really revealed its interest in promoting authentic African stories with its acquisition of Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart, the first Nigerian movie to become a Netflix original; and Chiwetel Ejiofor directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.
And of course, Netflix is now doubling down. According to the company's vice president of international originals, Erik Barmack, the streaming platform plans to order original series from Africa next year, in addition to the shows already being produced in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
"We are in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa. It’s definitely the case that we’ll commission some series there...in 2019.
There’s going to come a time when half of the top 10 of most-watched shows in a given year are going to come from outside of the US. I don’t think that’s very actually far away. I think that’s going to come in years, not decades."
Netflix is set to launch six European shows in the coming weeks, and Barmack told Financial Times that the company will increase its Europe-originated fare by a third in 2019. The platform is also looking closely at the Arabic-speaking market, with Jinn set to be its first Arabic-language show.
More and more Netflix subscribers are watching non-English-language fare every month, so this is a no-brainer for Netflix.