African media company Kwesé and Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service, today launched a long-term partnership for Sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging Kwesé’s pan-African reach to help make it easier for African consumers to enjoy Netflix.
As part of the partnership Kwesé will develop partnerships with telecoms operators across Sub-Saharan Africa to distribute Kwesé TV and Netflix. The first partnership activity is launching the Netflix service on the Kwesé Play streaming box today. Kwesé Play will launch initially in South Africa and will roll out across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Kwesé Play streaming box is the first set-top box in Africa to officially include Netflix service. It is powered by Roku, meaning it has a best in class user interface, and there is a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control giving consumers the ability to access their favorite show with a simple click. At launch, Kwesé Play customers in South Africa will be offered an exclusive, three-month gift subscription to Netflix with their purchase. Kwesé will also make it easier for African consumers to join Netflix as they will also be able to pay for their Netflix service through their Kwesé Play account in local currencies.
Kwesé has stated its commitment to providing premium content to African viewers across multiple platforms. This deal further cements its claim to be Africa’s source for the best in international and African programming.
Netflix has a fantastic content lineup, and with 1,000 hours of Netflix Originals in 2017 there are always great new shows and movies coming onto the service. Many Netflix Originals will be released in Africa at the same time as everywhere in the world, including new seasons of global hits such as Stranger Things, Narcos, Luke Cage and The Crown, stand-up comedies like Trevor Noah, Afraid of the Dark, and Netflix Original films such as the forthcoming Will Smith film, Bright. Netflix members in Africa will also be able to see some shows that are not available to Netflix members in the US, such as hit series Designated Survivor and the new Star Trek: Discovery series.
Speaking about the deal, Econet Media President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Hundah said “The number of connected homes in Africa continues to grow at an impressive rate and we expect to see strong uptake of Netflix in our markets. The current number of active subscribers is a fraction of what we both believe the potential to be. We see this as an opportunity to expand Kwesé’s multi-platform offering while bringing the best in original general entertainment to households across the continent”.
Maria Ferreras, Netflix Vice President of Business Development, EMEA, said: “African customers are demonstrating their enthusiasm and appetite for internet television and we believe they should be able to access the best shows in the world at the same time as everyone else, without the restrictions of a linear schedule. We’re working hard to make this a reality and we are thrilled to be working with Kwesé to make it easier for people to access and enjoy our service.”