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Amazon’s Prime Video Scales Back African Content Investment, Implements Executive Restructuring

Reorganization at Prime Video’s African division prompts shifts in leadership and content bound to raise questions about the future impact on industry deals.
January 19, 2024
5:28 am
Last one laughing

Prime Video, a streaming service under Amazon’s umbrella, has abruptly reduced its investment in the African market, focusing its streaming business operations and funding on the European content division. This unexpected move has led to significant organizational changes and a shift in content acquisition strategies.


In response to Prime Video’s unexpected reduction of investment in the African market, significant organizational changes have taken place. Key developments include the reassignment of Head of Originals for Africa and the Middle East, Ned Mitchell, and Director of Content Acquisition and Head WW Major Studio Licensing Strategy, Ayanna Ionian, to new roles.


gangs of lagos

Additionally, Director of Prime Video Africa, Gideon Khobean, has departed from his role after less than seven months, while layoffs have affected African MGM Studios/Prime Video Executives, including the Nigerian Head of Originals, Head of Scripted South Africa, and Junior teams.


These changes come as Prime Video shifts its focus, with the European content division becoming the primary recipient of streaming business operations and funding. While productions such as “Ebuka Takes Africa” and “Water and Garri” will proceed, the budget for acquiring new African titles has been significantly reduced, affecting potential new orders and licensed titles.


Breath of life

In terms of deals the streaming platform still holds, Jade Osiberu’s Overall Exclusive Deal, initiated in 2022, remains uncertain regarding the number of greenlit titles. However, at least two titles are expected to be released.


The Nemsia 3 Picture Slate, which includes “Breath of Life” as the first release, has the second title, “After 30,” fully approved and funded, while the third is yet to be revealed.


The Inkblot and Anthill Studios Output Deal, signed in 2021 and 2022, requires each production company to release a minimum of five titles annually on the streaming platform.


The impact of this restructuring on existing deals and the industry’s future remains uncertain.


Ebuka turns up

Notably, Prime Video Southeast Asia recently underwent a significant restructuring, resulting in a reduction in headcount.


Amazon clarified that programs and films set to launch in the region this year and in 2025 are unaffected, but no new originals will be introduced.


Prime Video officially launched in Nigeria in August 2022, operating in the market for under three years. Notable branded originals include “Gangs of Lagos,” “Last One Laughing,” “She Must Be Obeyed,” and “Breath of Life.”


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