Malaysia-based digital entertainment platform Iflix has sold out its Africa-focused service, Kwese Iflix, to Econet – a global telecoms company. As Econet has purchased the service which it helped form and has a major stake in, it follows the company’s resolve to transform its Kwese TV direct-to-home service into a digitally-focused enterprise.
Iflix first broke into the African market in the Sub-Saharan region back in 2017, before it concerted efforts with Econet in February 2019 for expansion purpose into East and Southern Africa, which led to its being rebranded as Kwese Iflix. The tentacle spread saw the joining of Econet as a stakeholder in the service, providing diversified media content to viewers across the regions, including first-to-market exclusive programming.
In May last year, Kwese Iflix extended services to Zimbabwe ahead of the June-July 2018 FIFA World Cup. The conclusion of this deal is reported to be a natural progression for Econet’s revised business strategy as a group, with the Kwese business in particular, which is in the offering of premium broadcast services.
According to the CEO of Econet Global, Hardy Pemhiwa, Iflix’s immense growth and positive uptake of VoD and OTT services across the continent is enough to believe that connected services are the future of African broadcasting.
It is the CEO’s hope to grow Kwese Iflix’s original programming portfolio of homegrown content as the services continually expand across Africa. The recently rolled out Kwese Iflix original Nganya of Kenyan origin has seen tangible success, and that sums up the reason Econet looks forward to continuing the trajectory with the introduction of an impressive slate of original programming – with a Tanzanian telenovela that’s set to premiere in February this year.
According to Mark Britt, Co-founder of Iflix, the acquisition by Econet – who is the company’s regional partner – is a significant stride for the African business, while further reinforcing Iflix’s devotion to its core markets in Asia, particularly in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, all of which continue to wax in strength.