Streaming services make it much easier for us to enjoy the TV shows and movies that we like the most. Thanks to almost universal device compatibility and the on-demand nature of streaming, we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, regardless of where we are.
Now it’s easy to watch our favourite shows on the move, giving us the opportunity to catch up with the latest boxset on the bus, the train, or even a plane.
Nigerians are spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming services, with many of the major players operating in the country along with several smaller niche services. If you’re thinking of joining the streaming revolution, here are some of the best options available.
Netflix is one of the leading players in the online streaming industry. And with good reason too – it was one of the first to launch and it offers an extensive library covering most genres of TV and movies. It started out with mostly American and British content but is slowly diversifying to cater to regional tastes.
In Nigeria, the company recently announced a collaboration with the filmmaker Akin Omotosho to produce its first original series in the country.
It’s also partnered with the local producer Mo Abudu to create original content. This contract, which was announced in June 2020, will see two TV series and several films created.
Netflix already has a library of Nollywood movies and TV shows, including King of Boys, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, 93 Days and The First Lady.
Poker only became a spectator sport in the late 1990s when shows like Late Night Poker began airing on TV in the United Kingdom and the United States. Since then, it’s become incredibly popular with millions watching live and online games both on traditional TV broadcasts and online streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
Another of these platforms is PokerStars TV, which is dedicated only to poker-related content. Available on most platforms, including smartphones, tablets and computers, PokerStars TV serves up player interviews, full length shows, classic clips and coverage of some of the biggest live events from around the world. What’s more, this is all available for free, meaning that you can watch as much as you want without having to splash out for a monthly subscription.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is one of the other biggest players in the industry and is now available in more than 200 different countries. Like Netflix, it’s been building a library of content that caters to local tastes in countries around the world, including Nigeria.
It’s Nollywood library is not as extensive as the one at Netflix, but there’s still a good selection of content. Popular titles like Half of a Yellow Sun, Ojukokoro, and Wives on Strike: The Revolution are all available to stream on your computer, TV, smartphone or tablet.
Kanopy is a streaming service that focuses on educational, classic and independent content. It operates differently to the likes of Netflix and Amazon, providing its content for free by partnering with educational institutions like universities and public libraries.
To sign up, you’ll need a membership card from a participating library. There aren’t currently many of these in Nigeria, but it’s hoped that it will be rolled out to include more in the near future. If you can get access, there’s a large selection of Nigerian documentaries and Nollywood films on there.
If you enjoy watching documentaries, then CuriosityStream is the streaming platform for you. It’s available worldwide, although it says some of its acquired content may be subject to geo-blocking.
The service was created by the founder of the Discovery Channel and is dedicated to producing educational content that’s entertaining and insightful. In the pursuit of this, they’ve licensed content from some of the world’s best documentary creators, including the BBC, NHK and ZED.
They’ve also created a lot of their own original content featuring big names like “David Attenborough’s Light On Earth” and “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places”.
It’s also one of the cheapest streaming services available, at just $2.99 (₦1,158) per month.