Opinion

NOLLYWOOD YOUTUBE MOVIES: FROM HORRIBLE TITLES TO OUTSTANDING FILMS

The Nigerian Film industry, Nollywood releases about 50 movies every week. And the majority of these films get to us through YouTube, generating millions for the filmmakers.  Nollywood’s presence on YouTube predominantly started with “Horribly titled” films and has since then significantly evolved, today featuring well written, shot and optimist titled movies that attract a global audience.

Nollywood’s YouTube presence wasn’t regarded in the beginning, often seen as low quality films. The platform slowly began to transform their movies and industry. Today, we see some of Nigeria’s most popular Films on YouTube.

The platform provides easy access to content, and also serves as a hub for finding exciting and new Nollywood films from your favourite stars and producers alike. YouTube’s Accessibility is a plus and eliminates the need for cinema visits.

Nollywood’s YouTube’s presence dates to the launch of the platform’s presence in Nigeria. Research suggests that Nollywood filmmakers have uploaded their works in short clips and videos on the platform since 2013. Godwin Iretomiwa, in his study states, “Nollywood films have been on YouTube almost right from when it was launched. In the early days when YouTube wasn’t monetized, clips of full-length Nollywood films were uploaded for informal interaction and amateur video sharing.”

The advent of Youtube has played an expedient role in globalizing Nollywood films. Basil Nneji, owner of Nollywood Namaste, Revealed in a 2020 interview with personal communications that, “Nigerian viewers alone occupy the fourth position on the viewers’ chart for Nollywood films, while viewers from USA, UK, and Canada hold the top three positions.” This statistic shows the platform’s role and success in expanding Nollywood’s reach to a global audience.

The use of Nollywood as a streaming platform grew gradually, then boom! It exploded with the introduction of the YouTube Partner Program. This program led to a surge in channels dedicated to only Nollywood movies, fostering a competitive market for YouTube filmmakers. This competition has led to the evolution of Nollywood filmmakers, with improved titles, storylines and overall production quality.

THE IMPACT YOUTUBE ON NOLLYWOOD

A Cursory glance suggests YouTube’s significant impact, but a research by Oludare Ebenezer Ogunyombo et al (2022) suggests otherwise. It indicates that only 4.3% of people would choose YouTube movies when presented with alternative options 70% of the time. This translates to a relatively low viewership rating. But for producers and actors, YouTube offers plenty benefits like:

Increased Revenue:

YouTube provides a direct route for filmmakers to generate revenue and monetize through ads and YouTube. It eliminates reliance on middlemen and intermediaries, thereby reducing production cost and ultimately leading to higher profits.

Promotion And Marketing:

Aside from providing a platform for filmmakers to freely upload their movies, it provides a means for promotion and advertisements of their latest movies, or products or a friend’s which reduces cost of promotions and marketing while amplifying the reach of new projects.

Fan Engagement:

YouTube Is a hub for vibrant community growth that allows viewers to easily comment and interact with channel owners, in this case, filmmakers and actors, building a sense of connection and engagement.

Global Exposure For actors and Filmmakers:

This is one the the biggest impact of YouTube on the Industry, before the break of Netflix and a few other international streaming sites, YouTube already gave Nollywood movies a place in the global setting which is quite impressive and wowing to a very large audience. Additionally, it provides an unparalleled exposure for Nollywood, significantly exceeding the reach of traditional distribution channels.

In conclusion, YouTube has had a great impact on the Nollywood industry and especially for producers. By making it easier for them to get to their viewers, they  get to earn more and subsequently build influence and equally raise money towards doing better which overall is exceedingly rewarding to the industry at large.

With a vast library of Nollywood content available, you’ll surely find something that piques your interest. So, grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of quality and lovely Nollywood films. 

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