Africa is becoming an increasingly important trade and development partner for international entertainment and media companies that trying to gain a foothold in the continent’s enormous domestic market. With half of its pre-registered delegates coming from outside of Africa, the upcoming edition of DISCOP JOHANNESBURG 2019 to open its doors on Wednesday reflects a massive and global interest for the continent’s rapidly rising film, television, and digital content distribution and production sectors.

600+ companies from 59 countries so far are expected to take part in the 3-day content market and co-production forum – including all the US major studios and streamers aggressively seeking to expand their reach across the most populous and rapidly growing world region.

Companies with big streaming plans such as Disney/Fox, Warner Media, NBC Universal, BBC Studios, and CBS/Viacom will be attendance. Additionally, Netflix will be making its first formal appearance at DISCOP JOHANNESBURG with four representatives including Ben Amadasun, Director, Africa Co-Productions & Acquisitions, taking part in The Africa Channel panel discussion session Exporting African Content to the World on Wed November 20th at 9:30 am.

“At stake is not only the phenomenal size of the continent and the fast-rising digital demands of the world’s fastest-growing consumer marketplace” says Patrick Zuchowicki, President of DISCOP, who adds, “More so than ever in the past before, there are opportunities to build on Africa’s abundance of talent, skills and homegrown stories to create content that can travel the world, please multicultural audiences, and generate real revenues.”

Gearing up against the domination of these global players, the strong presence of MultiChoice Group will be felt across a 350M2 exhibit, a host of panel discussions and workshops, as well as a large contingent of key production and programming executives from Africa’s leading multi-channel digital satellite, Pay-TV, and streaming destination, with 18.9 million customers across its various content distribution platforms.

As Africa’s largest and most influential player in the space, MultiChoice will showcase its extensive reach, catalogue and expertise within the diverse African market, as well as to re-enforce their commitment to the content and stories of the continent.

Speaking at the recent AfricaCom event, Yolisa Phahle CEO of General Entertainment at the MultiChoice Group, emphasised the importance of Africans telling African stories through a collaborative approach, and highlighted the recent MNET production Trackers that  is a record-breaking African story. This locally produced drama with an almost 100% South African cast, and made with a local production crew, has created more than 1,000 jobs and attracted millions in foreign investment in South Africa.  

Piwe Motshegoa, head of sales: general entertainment at DStv media sales explained it this way during the DStv Seminar of Creativity, a highlight of Loeries Creative Week: “As Africans, we need to remember that we are the ones we have been waiting for.”

The strong presence of this top African platform, combined with the diverse and increasing attendance from international companies at DISCOP JOHANNESBURG reflects a positive outlook for the African content space.

The 2019 edition of DISCOP JOHANNESBURG promises to be one of the most important of its history as the streaming wars heat up and the race for the spoils of the emerging African market speeds up.

For a full program of events visit www.discop.com

Guests can register on site at the Sandton Convention Centre from Wednesday November 20th at 8am and the event runs through Friday Night November 22nd.