Three Ways to Profit Making Documentaries

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Three Ways to Profit Making Documentaries

Three Ways To Profit Making Documentaries

Three ways to profit from making documentaries

Three ways to profit from making documentaries



Three Ways to  Profit Making Documentaries

The full two weeks between July 17 and 27 heralds the spotlight of African documentaries to a global audience especially the African audience as its planned that during these eleven days tons of documentaries will be made broadcast on the DStv ED channel 190 and GOtv ED channel 65 under the initiative called Afridocs.


The production of documentaries over the last decade as slowly dimmed, you would agree with me.

Although, NollyWood (the industry of Home grown home movies) has experienced a widespread growth and a gradual increase in local soap opera’s but has that growth rubbed off on the documentary industry favourably?

I think not!

Now, is there a business case with producing documentaries?

Is producing documentaries a viable business opportunity?

Is there an entrepreneurial value that can be created and profited from?

Let’s start by looking into the business case of producing documentaries and highlight three ways to profit making documentaries.

  1. Is there an opportunity?
  2.  And is it profitable?

The answer to the first question is evident. Documentary film makers can capitalize on the growth rate of Nollywood, the second largest film industry in the world to launch a viable sub sector.

Of course before you venture into a business opportunity you definitely would measure other critical factors that could help you along that entrepreneurial path.

Having established the opportunity within producing documentaries as a business venture let’s dive into identifying the profit touch points of making documentaries

How can you profit from making documentaries?


Here are three important ways you can profit.

  1. Through sponsorship – you can have your documentaries solely or jointly sponsored by brands. Before  launching your full documentary, you can shoot trailers and get investors or sponsors as well as NGOs who may have a good cause to promote and therefore use the documentary medium to convey their message to gain a movement and get people to support their cause.


  1. Through selling the license to Television networks and cable – In this arrangement, you’re not going to be selling out your intellectual property. The license allows the cable network or TV station to broadcast your documentary at anytime during the period of the license.


  1. Online subscriptions – you can definitely offer your documentary as an exclusive online educational material offered via subscriptions online. This on demand access may not offer you the voluminous broadcast advantage but you sure can measure who is and how they gain access to your content.


Whatever profit making option you choose, its critical to work with a plan and business model that works for you.


A great place to watch an array of highly produced documentaries to gain a clear picture of what I’ve been saying would be to stay glued to DStv ED channel 190 and GOtv ED channel 65 through July 17 to 27.


As we support the various African entrepreneurs who have put in their resources to get African stories etched in a good documentaries.

Am particularly interested to watch the documentary on Femi Kuti life and music titled Day by Day.

As stated in their recent press release, the film follows the development of a track from Femi Kuti’s latest album, it sets out to explain the artistic decisions. These choices are inseparable from Femi’s involvement in the political situation in his home country, Nigeria.

The documentary will be Screened on Wednesday July 23rd at 21:00 (GMT + 2)


Other documentary titles that would be featured is For the Best & the Onion

The Galmi purple, the onion from Niger, pervades West African markets with 400,000 tons a year. In Galmi, Salamatou’s been waiting for her wedding for 2 years. Her father Yaro, urged both by her future in-laws and the village gossip makes a decision : The wedding will take place at the harvest ! Yaro is aware that to be ready for this commitment, he has to produce more and sell at a higher price.

Screening on Wednesday July 23rd at 17:00 (GMT + 2)

Magic Radio

In Niger, where more than 80% of the population is illiterate, radio is the main means of mass communication. Simple yet reliable, the radio is everywhere, in the streets, homes and the bush.  It entertains, educates, informs and helps provide

a check on power. Today, through the radio waves, the citizens of Niger seize the microphone and taste democracy. It’s an FM revolution.

Screening on Friday July 25th at 21:00 (GMT + 2) to mention a few.

To get full TV schedule on the airing documentaries visit and check out their facebook page on

With all said, you definitely can profit making documentaries and here is a call to Nigeria short film makers. This is an industry you have overlooked for too long. Let’s get it started. and by the way, have you launch a documentary producing venture? Was it profitable? Let me know in the comments below.

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Illoh Ifeoma
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Illoh Ifeoma

Online Marketing Coach at Marketing Kiss PR
Illoh Ifeoma is a Digital Marketing Strategist, and the Founder of Marketing Kiss PR.Where she helps entrepreneurs discover online marketing strategies, tips and tactics to push their business to the next level. She runs live workshops, webinars and training.
Illoh Ifeoma
Lets Connect

About Author

Illoh Ifeoma

Illoh Ifeoma is a Digital Marketing Strategist, and the Founder of Marketing Kiss PR. Where she helps entrepreneurs discover online marketing strategies, tips and tactics to push their business to the next level. She runs live workshops, webinars and training.

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