Malam Jamilu Abdulsalam is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Northflix.ng – a platform initiated for movie producers to enable them reap the benefits of their hard work. In this interview, Jamilu talks about reasons behind the creation of the platform and many more.
What are the reasons for creating Northflix?
It is clear that despite several odds and huddles faced by the Hausa film making industry, one fact that remains constant is that the Hausa film making has come to stay. In over two decades of the industry’s existence, several transformations have occurred, which made the industry what it is today.
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It would be recalled that the industry began producing films in VHS cassettes for home videos, it graduated to the use of CD plates and later moved to DVD usage. No doubt, the industry became a hub for gainful engagement, especially with the youth, as the industry grew to become one of the highest employment providing sectors in Northern Nigeria.
However, with the proliferation of Hausa satellite TV stations, the industry tried to key into the new trend by going into drama series production and gradually, the conventional Hausa film industry became obsolete. Films on DVD were stopped and the Hausa film market at Kofar Wambai died completely; forcing operators of the market to look for other alternatives or forget the sector completely.
As a business-oriented individual, we sat down to fashion out avenues through which we will be able to leverage on the opportunity such transition in the film making industry will offer.
That was how we came up with the concept of Northflix – a platform that will effectively absorb all the transformation and convert it to an advantage for all to benefit from.
What’s this innovation all about?
Northflix is an online streaming platform aimed at selling Hausa content. We understand that there is poor distribution channel in the Hausa film industry; there is high rate of piracy in the industry. From the research we conducted, 98 per cent of people watching Hausa films currently do not use their money to access it; only two per cent use their money to access these contents which is discouraging to film-making business. And even the YouTube channels the producers use to distribute their contents isn’t for the growth and financial development of the industry, but for a very few of them to make quick earning that’s not sustainable.
We have also launched our app as well as begun rendering services to our numerous users and allies in the film making business.
How would you rate the performance of your newly launched app?
After the transition from DVD to the use of satellite TV stations, it became clear to practitioners that not every producer’s work can make it to the satellite TV stations; many adopted the use of YouTube as an alternative.
Many of us have YouTube channels now and we are doing averagely well to remain in business. Not every producer can afford to produce films that can meet-up with the standards set by the satellite TV stations. That is why many took advantage of YouTube to do business.
When we launched our app, it became a saving grace for many practitioners and it dawned on everyone that the platform speaks for the industry’s bright future. I don’t want to sound self-appraising, but from what we were able to gather, the app is doing splendid.
The app is currently keeping the Hausa film making industry in tune with the current global trend; it will interest you to know that the app was launched in 2019 with the aim of curbing the menace of film piracy and deepen the penetration of Nigerian Hausa films into the global market.
The platform also addresses the issues of poor distribution channels and high rate of piracy among other major concerns depriving movie producers of getting financial value for their investments.
What are you doing differently this time around?
Over time, we have inputted series of our intellectual capabilities in Northflix and as such, we have concluded a very strong partnership deals with some major producers in the industry to jointly produce and promote some Northflix original contents that will be premium and exclusive to the Northflix platform.
Similarly, to make sure the set goal is achieved, the company has appointed a sensational Kannywood and Nollywood actor Umar Gombe as the platform’s first program manager. The company’s wishes and desires to serve as a catalyst in deepening the penetration of Hausa films into the global market is aimed at serving over 100 million native and non-native Hausa speakers scattered across the world.
We intend to make good use of Gombe’s wealth of experience and expertise, to lift the entertainment industry to a great height.
We are also collaborating with film producing firms like FKD Production, Saira Movies, Dorayi Entertainment, Maishadda Movies, Toka Mcbaror, UK entertainment, Uzee Concept, Rite Time Media, among many more, to serve you with quality contents in areas of Documentary, Talk Show, Feature Films, Skits among other interesting entertainment packages.
What do you mean by Northflix original contents?
It is an adopted concept that involves Northflix partaking in some films production processes, and that is why we are collaborating with various stakeholders in the business to make it as unique as we can to serve our customers in the best way that we can. We have gone far in the production processes of many films that we wish to release to our fans.
What is Nothflix offering or doing differently?
Northflix is giving all practitioners a new ray of hope as well as unifying the Hausa movie industry under the new innovation. It is a new dimensional business outfit that will ensure the uplifting of the industry as well as to maximize their return on investment among other positive benefits the platform offers.