Amazon has recently redirected its investments from Africa and the Middle East to the European market.
This shift was accompanied by layoffs in the affected regions (Africa and the Middle East). This line of decisions is geared toward restructuring the multinational to improve the operational running of the multi-territory business.
Amazon Prime Video has been providing its streaming services to audiences in Africa and the Middle East for years. However, as part of the restructuring, the platform is set to discontinue its support for original content in these regions. This decision will impact Prime subscribers in Africa and the Middle East, leading to a cessation of contracts for original content in these markets.
As a consequence of the restructure, Prime Video teams in Africa and the Middle East & North Africa region will face layoffs. The company aims to re-balance its investments, with a particular focus on Amazon’s European content division.
“We’ve been carefully looking at our business to ensure we continue to prioritize our resources on what matters most to customers,” Barry Furlong, Vice President of Prime Video Europe, said while explaining the rationale behind these changes.
The European market will now be divided into two groups: EU Established and EU Emerging. The former will concentrate on key markets such as the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, while the latter will oversee operations in Benelux, the Nordics, and Central and Eastern Europe. This strategic division aims to allocate resources more effectively and cater to the diverse needs of European audiences.
Amazon’s decision to withdraw from producing local content in Africa and the Middle East was unexpected, especially given Prime Video’s earlier plans to expand its presence in the region. While approved shows like “Ebuka Turns Up Africa” will still be rolled out, the platform will no longer approve local shows in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa. Existing shows like “LOL ZA,” “Ebuka Turns Up Africa,” and “Water and Garri” will continue, but no new original series or movies will be ordered.
This strategic shift by Amazon opens opportunities for competing platforms such as Showmax, Netflix, and Canal+ to capitalize on the void left by Prime Video’s reduced presence.