Telecom Review Africa recently conducted an exclusive interview with Louis Manu, co-founder and CEO of Wi-flix. The interview aimed to delve into the inspiration behind Manu's entrepreneurial journey. During the discussion, Manu shed light on Wi-flix's distinctive product proposition and how it effectively addresses challenges in a highly competitive market. Moreover, he elaborated on Wi-flix's strategic plans for future growth and expansion.
Can you tell us about your journey so far as Co-Founder and CEO of Wi-flix? What inspired you to start this venture?
My co-founder - Bright Yeboah and I came from the world of entertainment, technology and telecommunications, with a deep-seated understanding of how the video experience ecosystem operates. This became the foundation on which we were able to ideate on Wi-flix and execute a solution capable of delivering a superior video experience to our customers and changing the lives of filmmakers in the world. The journey has been a challenging one, as expected for us as founders, however, we are excited about the potential we can reach as we go along, which always keeps our feet on the ground to overcome these challenges. The story behind this adventure isn’t entirely different from fellow entrepreneurs. It was simply the identification of a huge gap in the streaming service industry that we believe can be solved with our tailor-made solution.
Can you describe Wi-flix's unique features that distinguish it from other streaming services?
Wi-flix is very unique in these three simple ways. Firstly, we offer localized content, which amounts to over 30K hours of entertainment and over 10+ live TV channels. Wi-flix also appeals to a very large and diverse market group in Africa, and our customers can be anyone from the ages of 16 to 59, segmented on their spending power. Secondly, our rollout through telecommunications companies makes our platform unique and attracts a certain kind of group of customers via network enrollments in countries. The operator and Mobile Money billing allow easy subscription by network customers and give Wi-flix a quick growth in the countries we roll out. Lastly, Wi-flix is the only OTT that comes with a free or affordable data proposition as part of the access fees for customers. This gives Wi-flix huge leverage since internet data for streaming is very expensive in most African countries, though internet penetration keeps increasing.
What is Wi-flix's unique product proposition, and how does it provide solutions in a competitive market?
To put it in simple terms, our phenomenal product proposition covers pricing, content, localized payment, data access and reach. Our access fee is the lowest in the market, with a subscription at $2.99, and attracts medium- to low-tier consumer groups in most countries.
How has Wi-flix innovated its product offerings since its launch? Can you give us an example of a recent innovation?
The cost of the internet in Africa is relatively expensive. In order to deal with the barrier of expensive internet, which bars low-income users from consuming content even though they want to, Wi-flix focused on strategic partnerships with network operators in some of our markets to offer free data bundles depending on the subscription packages customers sign up for on our platform. Furthermore, our platform also recommends the required bundles for streaming a specific content as per the subscriber’s device type as well as average usage for a seamless streaming experience.
Wi-flix has achieved notable success in a relatively short amount of time. What would you describe as some of the company's key accomplishments and milestones to date?
It really feels good that, sooner rather than later, we have chalked up remarkable success in the short period since we started operation. In just under two years, we’ve launched in four (4) African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, which is indeed remarkable. Additionally, as of March 2022, just over a year in operation, Wi-flix reached one million paid subscriptions. To reach 1 million+ accumulated paid subscriptions [with] over 300,000 customers in just a little over a year after launch is a remarkable benchmark for any streaming platform that we don’t take for granted.
On top of that, early this year we made some audacious strategic partnerships, including Dolby, making Wi-flix the first African-owned Video-On-Demand platform to deliver the Dolby Atmos Experience to its subscribers. At the beginning of this year, we also announced the addition of SPI International’s six (6) live TV channels to better serve a wide range of authentic entertainment to Wi-flix customers spread across the continent and globally.
What are Wi-flix's plans for its future growth and expansion?
Our vision over the long term is to contribute to and leverage Africa's own digital economy by bridging the gap with easily reachable and affordable content in a single location while projecting the rich African culture and content to the world to shift the perspective of the world about Africa. We also want to widen the scope by presenting an opportunity for filmmakers, directors and aggregators in Africa with quality content to monetize their works on our streaming platform.