Netflix to Release Its First Original African Animated Series + How To Sell Your Own Content to Streaming Services

 


 

Netflix has been on a streak of releasing successful independently produced series and movie titles and they aren’t stopping. It was just recently announced that the streaming company plans to release its first own original African American centered animated series. The animated series will be called “Mama K” and is set to be based on a fictional story of four teenage girls living in a neo-futuristic city named Lusaka, Zambia. The show will be inspired by original 90s retro soul and R&B music in addition to many famous hip hop girl groups.

For this project, Netflixed teamed up with Triggerfish Animation Studios, which is based in Cape Town South Africa.

For information on how to sell your own content to streaming services, check out the tips below.

About The “Mama K” Series

The four teens in the series will be recruited by a now-retired secret agent who is trying to save the world and needs the four girls to help. Triggerfish Animations Studios is also collaborating with London-based kids entertainment company CAKE to produce various elements of the animated series. The show was created by Malenga Mulendema who is a Zambian writer, Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope is designing the overall animations for the series.

The show’s writer Malenga Mulendema said in a recent interview about the series, “In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.” The creation of “Mama K” is very big for the television industry on many levels primarily regarding diversity in the media.


Diversity In The Media

With films like the recent Black Panther, Jordan Peele’s Us, and other productions that feature primality African American cast members gaining popularity, entertainment as a whole is being led to embrace diversity. The topic of diversity in film, television, and other forms of media has long been a hot button issue that people have been fighting to solve. All of the years of petitioning, constantly speaking up about diversity in the media and a new wave of film-makers and producers producing content they believe in, has finally brought us to this point.

With Netflix taking the step to fill a much-needed void in television with content centered around the various facets of the African American experience, you can expect to see many more television networks and movie studios following suit. The undeniable success of many primary African American films over the years has proven that there is an audience for and they’re willing to pay for entertainment that reflects people like them.

How To Watch “Mama K”

“Mama K” will be available as an exclusive series on Netflix, so if you’re interested in watching the animated show, you’ll have to be a Netflix subscriber. Details surrounding exactly when the animated series will be available for streaming have still yet to be released however you can expect to hear more details emerge very soon.
How To Sell Your Own Self-Produced Content To Streaming Services

It is no secret that the internet and other newer technologies have made it easier for “the average Joe” to create major wealth doing a plethora of things that used to only seem possible for major conglomerates with access to tons of money and resources. Now, just one of the many things that have become increasingly more accessible to the independent entrepreneur is the ability to sell self-produced content across the web as well as the newest big businesses – streaming services. And when we say, BIG business, we mean it. With nearly 150 million subscribers Netflix has undeniably grown into a business powerhouse.  With popular series like Stranger Things, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to winning the highest number of Emmy awards nominations, the company is now regarded as one of the most recognizable and successful brands in the world.

While most of us only hear about the bigger streaming releases from powerhouses like Netflix and Hulu, there are also opportunities for smaller production houses to sell content to all of the many streaming services that have hit the market over the last few years. The process of selling your content to streaming services will take some hard work but is absolutely possible AND accessible to even YOU.

In a nutshell, here’s what you need to do:

  • Create really good content
  • Develop a fan base
  • Find a distributor or rep for your film (or TV show)
  • Sell your content to streaming services


Here’s How You Do It


Create GOOD, QUALITY content.

Your content must be attractive to the audiences that stream content. After coming up with the idea for your film or series, team up with experienced writers and producers to create content that you know audiences will be receptive to. Content shot on your smartphone won’t work for this project. Your content must look professional, polished and be relatable to consumers – or no one will buy it from you. Also, the actors you hire need to be great actors. Don’t cut corners in any part of the process, or it will show. If you don’t have access to a lot of cash, consider searching on freelance sites like Upwork or Fiverr and hire experienced producers, shooters, and editors that are in the process of building portfolios.  Everyone will benefit from working together. You’ll get your content produced, they build out their content portfolio. It’s a win-win.


Develop A Fan Following And Create Buzz Around Your Content

You are more likely to sell your product if you, first, prove on your own that there is an audience for it. Start out by posting your finished content to a digital platform like YouTube and start promoting it within your own social media networks. If it’s good, people will share. Begin to engage with fans and solicit feedback. Make adjustments wherever possible and continue to promote it. The more subscribers and fans you are able to generate on your own, the more undeniable you will be to platforms looking for new content.


Find A Distributor For Your Project

A film distributor is responsible for the marketing of a film or show and the distributor or rep cuts a deal with the streaming platforms. Once a deal is reached with a streaming company, you then get paid a licensing fee for whatever amount of time is negotiated. You can find a distributor by contacting several different ones and sending each a one-sheet and a screener. Once you get a response, you may be given the opportunity to actually pitch your project. Have patience. Be persistent. If your content is good, someone will bite.


You Could Also Go The Route of Using An Open Platform Aggregator

Mediarazzi, a developer and producer of TV channels for Roku and Connected TV platforms, recently launched a FREE, open platform aggregator called SPECK. According to its CEO and founder, Phil Autelitano, Speck will distribute your content across multiple digital and Connected Television platforms, which will allow you to earn immediate revenue from your content, all while they shop it around to other streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle and more. By going this route, you have the opportunity to earn an 80/20 split on all of the revenue you make from your content with YOU getting the 80%. This happens via video on demand (VOD) and ad-based video on demand (AVOD) across the multiple platforms. There are other services that perform the same service as Speck, but they aren’t free. Companies like Distribber will charge you around $1000 or more to perform the same service.

There is a lot of money to be made in the streaming business, and companies that help you do that are popping up all over the place. So, start creating, promoting and selling your content. The time is NOW.

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