Attention all Nollywood fans! Make sure you’re stocked up with plenty of popcorn because you’ll be finding it difficult to tear yourself away from the new iROKOtv app on Nokia Lumia.
- Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision
- Scan the QR code
- Tap on the link when it appears on the screen
- Install the application from the Windows Phone Store
In addition to a wide choice of full-length Nollywood movies, you’ll also be able to watch behind-the-scenes features, interviews with the stars and entertainment gossip.
This is the result of a partnership between Nokia and iROKOtv, the world’s largest online distributor of Nigerian movies.
Who needs Hollywood?
For the uninitiated, the Nigerian film industry, which is also known as Nollywood, is a very big deal indeed. In fact, by volume, it is the second largest film industry in the world behind India’s Bollywood.
The films are made quickly and prolifically – some of the larger production houses can make up to 40 movies per year.
Nollywood is a homegrown success story that reflects Nigeria’s passion for story telling and watching movies. However, its appeal goes beyond its own borders.
“Even though it is done in Nigeria by Nigerians, it actually translates really, really well,” says Adibeli Nduka-Agwu who is iROKO’s Head of Business Development and Partners in Africa.
“We find that these are the sort of movies that do well across all African countries. Everyone from South Africa to Kenya but also in the UK, US and all those places where you have people with connections to the African diaspora.”
Is there such a thing as a typical Nollywood movie?
“There are certainly some recurring themes… Romantic comedies, love and a lot of drama – definitely a lot of drama!”
“The power lies in great story telling and some fabulous actors and actresses, such as Mr. Ibu, Mercy Johnson, Mama G and Tonto Dikeh.”
Another of those recurring themes is a penchant for naming their movies after common brands or global celebrities. For instance, on the app you’ll be able to watch films such as Return of Beyonce and Rihanna or Fazebook Lovers.
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The mobile experience
When it came to making their Lumia app, iROKO were keen to get all the features that are available on their website transferred to the mobile experience, such as the ability to search by genre or actor and selecting movies to watch later.
In addition, there was also the acknowledgement that people consume content differently on their mobile than they do when sat in front of the TV or computer.
“What we have added to this app are things that you can view much more quickly,” Adibeli tells Conversations.
“People have certain movies that they love and they just want to see a scene or the best part of the movie.
“Normally to watch a clip you have to go through the entire movie but with this app you can just watch the most popular scene, or search for their favourite actress and get her most popular scenes.”
Working with Nokia
On bringing the iROKOtv app to Nokia Lumia, Adibeli says:
“One thing that was very important to us is that people have a very good experience and that’s why we wanted devices that could do our work justice.
“We’ve been working with Nokia for a very long time and we felt confident that this was the only way we could get the type of experience that we wanted to have.
“In Africa, Nokia is by far the biggest in terms of mobile phones and we believe we are the biggest in terms of African entertainment.”
“Together we’ve made the biggest and best Nollywood app that there could be.”
Nokia Lumia owners with a Windows Phone 8 device can download the iROKOtv app now from the Store and they’ll get three months’ subscription for free.
Existing iROKOtv PLUS customers will have free access to the app.