2016 Archbishop Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been interviewed by CNN on how she is growing streaming viewership in Africa and bringing more African stories to the lineup. Film and television productions worldwide have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, but the Kenyan Netflix executive has said that she is using this time to find the best stories, to make the best use of the interruption.
At the same time, for international streaming giant Netflix, lockdowns have translated into nearly 16 million new paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 alone, followed by another 10 million during the second quarter.
In April 2019, she was appointed by Netflix as the Manager, International Originals for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and was in line with Netflix' goal to commission original shows from Africa and grow its market share on the continent. Netflix intends these original African shows to increase demand for the platform among viewers from Africa and eventually reduce the cost of access - something lockdowns have accelerated.
One of Dorothy's productions she brought to the small screen, and the first African original, Queen Sono has been broadcasted world wide and is expected to have a second season. Later this year, the next African original series Blood and Water is expected. Dorothy said during the interview that the originals are important to her: "Our ultimate aim is that we want to be the home of the best-in-class African stories. We want you to know that if you're looking for the best African stories, then you will find them on Netflix. We are going to expand heavily to ensure that goal is met".
She said that during this time when people were looking for more entertainment, it was a great time to deliver African productions and introduce a broader audience to them. With much of 2020's lineup largely shot, she said that the biggest challenge being faced at this time were difficulties specific to Africa - power cuts and load shedding - that affected viewing.
You can see the full interview at CNN.