#52 (Part 2) Building an on-demand platform for African content, Tonje Bakang, Afrostream

Tonje Bakang is the Founder of Afrostream.

Afrostream is Afrostream was a subscription video on demand (SVOD) which provides millions of fans with unlimited access to Afro-American and African movies and TV series.

In 2017, Tonje penned an open letter announcing the closure of the business. The service closed in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and in 24 African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Togo.

This is the second part of his two-episode conversation with Dotun. You can listen to the first episode here. 


In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why it was hard to raise money as a startup in Europe
  • How they tested the idea of Afrostreams with a Facebook fan page and got 50k fans without a product
  • The importance of  clean design to brand reputation
  • Why did his project not last as long as he wanted it to? Affordability or competition?
  • Why adoption rate became a problem? What was the cause of the churn?
  • The intricacies of a subscription-based model
  • Why Tonje chose to go ahead with running Afrostreams even though he knew he had not raised enough money
  • The biggest challenge they had communicating with investors and what you can learn from it
  • The one thing he would do if he had to go back in time
  • The importance of data in the sustainability of VoD
  • Tonje does not intend to try a VoD platform again. What does he have in mind?
  • According to Tonje “I don’t know any VoD platform who is making money”. If no one is making money where’s the value in VoD platforms?
  • What he is doing now after Afrostreams?
  • And more

You can listen to the first part of this conversation here.

Building The Future Podcast Season 3 is sponsored by Flutterwave

Flutterwave drives growth for banks and businesses across Africa through digital payment technology. You can learn more about their activities here.

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Episode 52