Producer Mo Abudu thinks ‘local for global’ to grow Nigeria’s business – Variety

by MMC
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Mo Abudu is an entrepreneur on a mission to make her native Nigeria a bigger player in global media.

THE CEO of EbonyLife Media, based in Lagos is tapping into streamers’ surge of interest in content outside the U.S. and Europe to generate a wave of deals for its production banner, known for producing the crime drama series “Blood Sisters” for Netflix. In the last episode of Variety podcast “Strictly commercialAbudu says she seeks to contribute to the development of production infrastructure in her home country, as well as giving Africans in general a greater voice in the entertainment market.

Adubu has observed the trajectory South Korea has been on with its music, television, film and pop culture catching fire far beyond the borders of Seoul and Busan. She sees it as a model for Nigeria.

“My daughter has been watching Korean content for 10 years or more,” says Abudu. “But look at how much this has taken the world by storm right now, some of us are just now realizing that there is Korean content, but they’ve been on this journey for 20 or 30 years. I believe this is a journey that Africa is on, and we have started the journey.

ebonyvie was founded over a decade ago as a linear television channel, which in itself was a revolutionary move, as Abudu explains. But after five years, Abudu realized that EbonyLife would be better off focusing full-time on content creation rather than operating a linear pay-TV service. EbonyLife TV’s response to its debut confirmed Abudu’s hunch that there is a wellspring of untapped talent across Nigeria.

“It was a very young, very hip and very sexy channel,” says Abudu. “At that time, nothing was aimed at this particularly savvy and ambitious audience, which today we can call the TikTok audience. “A lot of our presenters had never done television before, but they were just very savvy, very well-spoken, good-looking, well-dressed, good-looking people. And we just put them on the screen.

Abudu is well aware that top media giants around the world are eyeing Africa as an engine of growth in the years to come.

“In economic terms, all other markets are literally saturated. Where are you going? How many more subscribers are you going to get in England, London or France,” says Abudu. “You might have a few more.” But the biggest market is currently on the (African) continent. There are a billion people there.

The CEO who started out in the business world in London also likes to point out that Africa is not as far from Europe or North America as many Westerners think.

“It’s not like you’re going into space. The other day I was on a plane from New York to Los Angeles and it was five thirty. That’s how long it takes to get from London to Lagos,” she says.

“Strictly commercial” is Variety‘s weekly podcast features conversations with industry leaders about the media and entertainment sector. New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud and more.

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