The Africa Channel is the latest to get into the internet subscription-video game: The cable programmer will launch its new streaming video service, Demand Africa, on Oct. 1.
At launch, Demand Africa will stream more than 300 hours of original and acquired lifestyle content. In the following months, it will add several hundred additional hours of scripted TV series and movies, targeting 500-plus hours by the end of the first quarter of 2018, according to the company.
Demand Africa will cost $6.99 per month, with a discounted rate of $69.99 per year. The company is offering subscribers who sign up now a 50% discount off the first three months.
In addition to premium HD streaming video, Demand Africa will feature free access to short-form video series and an online lifestyle blog community highlighting content across the African diaspora on demandafrica.com.
Demand Africa’s goal is to make modern Africa’s influence and culture more accessible throughout the world, according to Narendra Reddy, EVP and GM of the Africa Channel, who said the SVOD service is aimed a “globally aware audience with a passion for travel, lifestyles and an interest in new cultures.”
“Demand Africa’s mission, like our principal cable offering The Africa Channel, is to demystify modern Africa and its people for our viewers,” said Reddy, who prior to joining TAC last year was GM of DreamWorks Animation India. “Demand Africa is a digital platform where programming multicultural content is our principal focus — and not a sub-category or an initiative.”
Shows on Demand Africa span food (“Africa on a Plate,” “DiYaWela”), travel (“TOP,” “30 Min. Tour”), kids and family (“Siyaya”), music (“Prince! Behind the Symbol,” “Africa Soundstage”), culture (“Care for Color,” “African Masters”) and comedy (“Africa Laughs”).
While many of the shows have previously aired on the Africa Channel, Demand Africa includes exclusive content such as “XOA (Xtreme Outdoor Africa),” “Man Cave,” “Shades of You” and “Minjiba Entertains” as well as a lineup of original content created by TAC Studios and newly acquired movie titles.
Demand Africa will be available on the web, iOS and Android devices, and via Roku, Apple TV and Amazon connected-TV platforms. The subscription VOD service was developed for and is hosted on Brightcove’s video-distribution platform.
The Africa Channel and its production arm, TAC Studios, are focused on English-language television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies and cultural and historical content from Africa. The L.A.-based company says the Africa Channel is available in approximately 7 million homes in North America and the Caribbean through cable operators including Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and those represented by the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.