Nigerian video-on-demand (VoD) service iROKOtv is downsizing its Nigerian operations, laying off 130 of its staff in Lagos as the company “strive[s]for profitability”.
iROKOtv said the Nigerian staff downsizing forms part of wider “departmental adjustments”, which have also seen a number of London-based staff taken on.
According to the company, the changes reflect that iROKOtv is going to “where the talent is”.
“In order to remain agile, and as we strive for profitability, iROKO is currently making departmental adjustments to reflect new areas of focus for the company,” said Jason Njoku, founder of iROKOtv.
“What iROKO is attempting is unique, and it has been a challenge to source the right talent in Africa to fulfil the company’s niche requirements,” he said.
“Since we broadened our search outside of the region, we’ve been able to source and hire a number of industry experts in London. Fortunately, the global nature of the business allows us to go where the talent is.”
The move follows a shift in iROKOtv’s approach to the African market. In June, the company decided to shut down its desktop service for African users, focusing on a mobile-only experience.
Njoku said the startup would focus only on discovery and download to watch offline, as 3G infrastructure made streaming difficult in an African context.
Globally, where 85 per cent of iROKOtv’s revenues and subscribers lie, desktop remains intact as streaming has worked with no problems.