Yoruba film marketers eye online channels

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Staff member
By Akeem Lasisi

After conquering the Yoruba arm of the Nigerian movie industry onshore, top players in the marketing end of the field are gunning for ‘offshore’ gold. This they want to do by harnessing the opportunities available for sale online.

As a result, their umbrella body, the Yoruba Video Film Producers and Marketers Association is planning a workshop to equip members with the nitty-gritty of digital marketing.

According to the association’s Chairman, Alhaji Toyin Uthman, a lot of works and money exchange hands online, especially through the YouTube. Because of the popularity of Yoruba films, the merchants can no longer close their eyes to the online channel. So, they want to bring the expertise and experience of people who have been involved together so that more people can exploit digital routes.

Also narrating his experience, the Chairman of Highwaves Video Mart, Chief Aina Kushoro, recalled how a man based in the United Kingdom contacted him, saying he wanted to upload his films on YouTube and pay him some money.

Kushoro said, “Before now, I didn’t know anything about digital marketing. People were just uploading our movies onto YouTube, which is like Oyingbo Market. It is open to all and sundry. Well, he did so and paid me some money.”

Also justifying the need to explore channels that can help them to consolidate gains from the international market, the Chief Executive Officer of Omega Entertainment, Mr. Femi Jolayemi, noted that 70 per cent of consumers of Yoruba films live outside Nigeria, although he concedes that the role played by pirates is another story entirely.

At the association’s office in Idumota, Lagos, where the officials held a press briefing on Friday, they also sought to correct what they believe are some of the wrong impression some people have about them especially the belief that most of them are illiterates.

Jolayemi said, “This is a very wrong impression. We are businessmen, but many of us are professionals in our own right. There are people who hold master’s among us. We commission producers, put down our money for people to shoot films. At times, we produce films ourselves. Those condemning us are the ones who are lagging behind educationally. Immediately their works fail, they lay the blame at the door of marketers. Many of the artistes that have become stars were made by us. It is our continued usage of their faces that made them became icons. We have done a lot to make Nollywood the pride of Africa.”

In terms of the solvency of the sub-sector, the marketers conceded that there were challenges. But they added that they were the kind of challenges that pervaded other areas of the economy.

“If some people say we are broke, as you see us here, do we look like people who are broke,” a slightly agitated Kushoro said, stressing that the marketers had remained buoyant as evident in the high volume of movies they have continued to release.

Uthman noted that the workshop taking place in Lagos will attract experts in Internet marketing, officials of regulating agencies and financial institutions that have links with the industry – including NEXIM Bank.



Active Member
If they really want to do that, they are going to need better translators and human spell-checkers.

I watch korean dramas, much like tv shows, and there are groups of online translators and subbers who translate the raw korean episodes into English for viewers. I have no idea how the company makes it money--perhaps through advertisements, but sites like viki and dramafever and pretty much any site that pops up from "google: korean drama" do this. Now if the Yoruba film industry plans to go into online channels, that's one avenue and Youtube is another, except YouTube is not theirs. I'd rather they create their own website dedicated to the Yoruba Movie Genre and later expand it to all of Nigeria. IrokTV has something like that, although it still needs some organization, and competition is healthy.
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