Nigeria - Country Commercial Guide
Media and Entertainment
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Nigeria’s media and entertainment industry, “Nollywood,” originated in 1992. It is currently the second most prolific film industry in the world, with an annual output of around 2,500 movies. It is a globally recognized brand in film, including script writing, directing, sound, acting, cinematography, make-up, and editing. The industry is located throughout several major production centers like Lagos, Onitsha, Enugu, Asaba, and Abuja. 

According to PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2022-2026, Nigeria’s media and entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing creative industries in the world. It has the potential to become one of the country’s exports, with projected annual consumer growth rate of 8.8% (CAGR). PwC indicates that in 2021, Nigeria’s film industry contributed 2.3% ($660 million (239 billion naira)) to GDP. They project that the industry will increase its export revenue earnings to over $1 billion. The motion picture and music combined contributed about $1.8 billion (730 billion naira) to the country’s GDP in 2020.

The country’s television and video market grew 7.49% to $806 million in 2020, up from $732 million in 2018. The industry is projected to earn about $900 million in 2023. The market is driven by subscription revenue, which accounted for 72.26% of total TV/video sector revenue in 2018. TV advertising accounts for 21.31% of total revenue, while physical home videos account for 5.33%. Subscription-based movie streaming are very popular in Nigeria, attracting players like Netflix, Iroko TV, and Startimes. Although Netflix subscription has long been available in Nigeria, they made their official debut in Nigeria in February 2020, joining several major distributors of filmed content in Nigeria. In August 2022, Amazon Prime Video announced the launch of the localized version of its streaming service in Nigeria. According to an IMF report, the industry is projected to generate an estimated revenue of $10.8 billion by 2023 and account for 1.4% of GDP. The report indicates that in 2020, Nigeria overtook South Africa in pay TV subscription as the country currently has over 6.9 million pay TV households as of 2021.  It is projected to grow to upwards of 7.4 million by 2023. A new study by Research and Markets, shows that Nigeria will contribute about 10 million, or 21.2%, of Africa’s pay television subscribers by 2025.

The music sector of Nigeria’s entertainment industry also recorded significant growth over the years. Stakeholders include artists, musicians, producers, promoters, managers, distributors, and marketers. As of 2021, the music industry employed about a million people and generated over $8 billion for the economy. In the past six years, the growing numbers of new production studios and artists enabled a more vibrant and self-sustaining industry, producing globally recognized music. In this environment, Nigerian musicians have developed a vast spectrum of music genres. The industry has won prestigious awards with artists like Wizkid and Burnaboy claiming Grammy awards, attracting more and more investments from several sources. Spotify, the global leader in music streaming, is also moving into the Nigerian market as part of a broader global expansion.

COVID-19 led to the shutdown of public shows and concerts. There was an increase in internet music subscribers (154.3 million as of December 2020), digital song sales, and online streaming. There are opportunities to capture additional revenue, particularly from recorded music. Importantly, the revenue of the music streaming market is projected to reach over $113 million by the end of 2022. It should also experience an annual growth rate of 12.56% between 2022 and 2026 (CAGR).

Challenges in the Media and Entertainment Sector

Nigeria faces challenges with copyright piracy. This poses some difficulty in monetizing services in the industry.  The impact of COVID-19 necessitated lockdown measures, leading to many media businesses being unable to pay salaries and down-sizing because of the high cost of operations. Digital streaming services and social media have greatly disrupted traditional media. This has increased customer sophistication, demanding a wide variety of content to select. Industry must continuously innovate to retain the attention of customers.

Piracy and intellectual property rights (IPR) violations continue despite significant effort and strengthening intellectual property rights in Nigeria. It is not uncommon to see pirated books and compact discs being openly sold. Piracy and counterfeiting constitute major hindrances to development of intellectual property rights in Nigeria. while actively hindering the growth and development of the media and entertainment industry.

In a bid to bring Nigerian copyright laws up to date with global best practices, the Nigerian Senate passed a bill, in April 2022 which would make it an offence to broadcast any digital production without creator consent. Repercussions of this infringement range from $217 - $4,339 (100,000 to 2 million naira) in the instance of criminal liability and up to a year of imprisonment.

Poor infrastructure such as inconsistent power supply and poor roads can also pose significant challenges for movie production as it increases the time and cost to create content, and for music performers, who lack suitable concert venues. Promotors will have to factor in the cost of alternative power generation leading to higher cost. Uncertainty exists around the regulatory environment, with substantial moves taken by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) such as a rule outlawing exclusivity. On August 4, 2020, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, launched the amended 6th edition of the broadcasting code. The code seeks to regulate content exclusivity, enforce content sharing, and empower NBC to determine prices at which content is sold to sub-licensees by rights holders. This compels sub-licensing of content and regulation of pricing, reducing the attractiveness of the industry for large participants that thrive on exclusive content.

Naira devaluation and value-added tax (VAT) also challenge the sector environment. The weak naira and lack of foreign exchange makes it difficult for subscription service providers to fulfill their foreign content obligations, which are purchased in dollars. The country’s most patronized subscription operator, MultiChoice Nigeria (owner of DStv and GOtv) raised the subscription cost of some of its DStv packages by 13% in September 2020. There was a further increase in prices by an average of 17% in April 2022. A similar uptick of subscription cost was also implemented by the country’s second-largest subscription service provider, StarTimes, which raised fees by an average of 22% in August 2020 and a further 31.6% in the classic package in 2021.

Other issues hindering the Nigerian media and entertainment sector are contract related issues, employment and labor law issues, defamation matters, and compliance issues.


Business opportunities in the Nollywood industry include cinemas in underserved areas, digital distribution, training and capacity building for cinematography, scriptwriting, directing, and movie production equipment.

U.S.-origin equipment is generally considered superior to imports from other countries. Local entrepreneurs seek opportunities to represent and work with U.S. suppliers of computer parts and peripherals for local assembly. Nigerian importers and end-users prefer suppliers who, in addition to prompt delivery of products, can provide timely aftersales support, including spare parts at competitive prices.  Asian competition is substantial, particularly with regards to price and availability of parts.

Significant opportunities for U.S companies in this sector include:

  • Establishment of training facilities which engage in animations, visual effects, and other technical skills development
  • Social media collaborations with local short film and other content creators
  • Establishment of consultancy services for expanding reach and improving penetration of content and digitization of media
  • Establishment of a distribution and rental business for new technology useful for production by industry participants
  • Video streaming platform with exportable content
  • Mergers and acquisitions of national players who require financial assistance and other resources to leverage growth.
  • Collaboration with global film producers for film festivals and media tourism

The Nigerian government has taken some key steps to grow the media and entertainment industry. These include:

  • Creation of the Creative Industry Financing Initiative: The Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, has developed a loan scheme called the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to increase youth employment. The initiative has four pillars: fashion, music, film, and information technology. Film production businesses can get a loan of up to $83,000 (30 million naira) while film distribution business can get financing of up to $1.2 million (500 million naira). The repayment is flexible over a period 3 to 10 years, with a single digit interest rate of 9% per annum (inclusive of all charges). The loan scheme also comes with a minimum of a 24-month moratorium.
  • Internet Penetration Rate: In response to the low level of internet connectivity which hampers the digitization of business, the Nigerian Communications Commission has established laws and guidelines aimed at promoting increased access to the internet. These are pushed through the already licensed infrastructure companies (Infracos) and other initiatives to heighten internet access by the people of Nigeria. The Nigerian Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has vowed to intensify efforts to put in place an internet Industry Code of Practice (IICP), spelling out the minimum acceptable behaviors relating to the provision and use of the internet in Nigeria.
  • Fiberoptics Deployment: The Nigerian government and state governments are making efforts to improving fiberoptics deployment. This is expected to improve connectivity, enhancing digital streaming of movies and other entertainment content in the country.