Nigeria’s Nollywood is Putting Hollywood to Shame
Valued at about five billion dollars in 2014, the world’s second largest film industry holds much promise for investors; with the main barrier to future growth being the industry’s informal distribution network.
As one of the largest film industries in the world, behind only India’s Bollywood, Nigeria released over 2,000 films in 2013. This trumps even Hollywood in terms of films produced. Since the 1990s, “Nollywood,” as it is fondly known, has rapidly grown in line with Nigeria’s economic growth. The industry now contributes about 1.4% to the country’s GDP.
Nollywood movies are not only prevalent in the theaters and markets of Nigeria, but also throughout Africa. From Ghana to Kenya and South Africa, Nigerian films are in high demand. The industry holds much potential for investors. The main barrier to future growth being an informal distribution network.
Nollywood’s rise to fame
The proliferation of affordable filming and editing technologies in the 1960s stimulated Nigeria’s local film industry, which was one of the first in Africa. Growth of a domestic Nigerian industry was in large part sparked by a government law limiting foreign television content. In the early years of Nigerian TV, entrepreneurs in Lagos began filming popular theater productions. These were televised on TV and distributed on video as well. A film distribution system began to develop in the markets of Lagos.