For a long time, it has been said that Kenyans don’t support local filmmakers and that they are not willing to pay for content.
Abel Mutua's movie makes over Sh4M in 5 days
“I don’t think kuna sinema imekuwa na sales kama hizo,” - Abel Mutua
However, an emerging technology in the content creation industry is changing how Kenyans consume content in a way that is both beneficial to them and the creators.
Abel Mutua and Phillip Karanja recently launched a local film; Grand Little Lie but instead of uploading it on the known content distribution platforms, decided to use their own website.
Kenyans across the world were able to watch the film by just paying a one off fee of Sh200 without any subscriptions.
Five days after the movie was released on October 8, Abel Mutua said that over 20,000 Kenyans had bought the watch links to catch a glimpse of the action.
This is arguably the best reception a local film has achieved in recent years. If we were to assume each of the 20,000 plus people paid the minimum fee, this translated to more than Sh4 million.
“I don’t think kuna sinema imekuwa na sales kama hizo,” Abel said in a recent live interaction with his fans on Instagram.
The team had initially set a target of 50,000 people and it might not take long to hit it, going by the reception.
In one of his episodes on YouTube, the filmmaker who recently won the Pulse Influencer Awards said that the money would be used in catering for the cost of production including paying the actors.
In the past, Kenyan filmakers have been heavily dependent of using mainstream media, and physical screenings to make money from their craft but the new technology is going to be a game changer.
The technology also protects the rights of film makers by curbing illegal downloads or distribution of content which Kenyans are notorious for.
This revenue model also removes the dependency on advertising quotas (although you can certainly still use them).
Ads provide income but require a lot of clicks to generate decent money. Running random ads also tends to steal viewers’ attention – just think about how often you ignore them on YouTube.
From ad-supported content, viewer subscriptions, all the way up to pay-per-view and on-demand services, monetization is the new standard of profitable media delivery and consumption.
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