As the name suggests, Afrostream is like Netflix for African, African-American, and Caribbean films and series. Backed by Y Combinator, the service is launching in many different countries today, mostly in Africa.
And yet, Afrostream isn’t limited to Africa as many people around the world can enjoy Afrostream. “When I was a kid, for a long time, I was looking for role models on TV to relate to them,” co-founder and CEO Tonjé Bakang told me when I first covered the startup.
With this initial idea, Afrostream originally launched in France (including the DOM-TOMs), Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. For €7 per month, you can access the library of movies, series, documentaries, kid shows and more. In order to do this, the startup signed distribution deals with movie studios, focusing on black content. Warner Brothers, Sony, Viacom, Lionsgate and Sky Vision are all on board.
With all you can eat services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it’s easy to get lost in a library filled with mostly mediocre content and a few gems. These services promise you an endless sea of content, but you end up saying “not tonight” as you don’t want to spend 15 minutes looking for a movie.
Services like Afrostream have a strong editorial direction and it’s going to be key as movie production companies keep producing more and more movies around the world. At this point, you don’t need bigger libraries, you need someone to tell you what’s interesting to watch. And if it costs a bit less than general streaming services, then it’s also a good thing.
Expanding to African countries seems like a logical move as it’s a huge potential market for Afrostream. Distribution will also be key if Afrostream wants to reach all potential customers.
In France, for instance, the company has partnered with TF1, Orange and Bouygues Telecom so you can subscribe to Afrostream with your internet service provider’s set-top box. More than 12 million homes can turn on their TV and access Afrostream in a few key presses.
Working with telecom companies in Africa could be a good way to reach customers once again. Afrostream also works on Android and iOS phones and tablets, so the startup could work with mobile phone carriers as well.
When it comes to pricing, 2-day passes will cost 500 FCFA, 1,000 FCFA for 7 days, 3,000 FCFA for one month and 23,000 FCFA for a year.
Here’s the full list of new countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, and Togo.