ER Films embarked on a mission to address the glaring issues in media representation and access to high-quality African content. With 4.2% of English people (2.4 million) belonging to the black, Black British, Caribbean, or African ethnic group, there was a clear opportunity to fill the void of authentic African storytelling and entertainment in the UK and Europe.
Loss of African Identity in the West: There existed a severe under-representation of black stories, actors, and films in mainstream media. Even when Black-led stories emerged, they were often underfunded and devalued, despite proving their potential for significant returns.
Piracy and Revenue Loss: African producers struggled to export their movies to Europe and America, leading to piracy issues. For every legal copy of a movie, nine illegal copies circulated, primarily due to the lack of affordable legal viewing options.
Lack of Black Representation: Black actors accounted for less than 5% of lead roles, and only 2% of writers in British TV were black. This systemic lack of representation off-screen and on-screen perpetuated structural racism.
ER Films crafted a multi-faceted approach to tackle these challenges head-on:
TV Channel Advertisements: ER Films launched a TV Channel airing licensed African movies, TV series, and educational content. This channel was accessible via SKY and online through the company’s website, providing a platform for African culture to shine.
On-Demand Subscriptions: Recognizing the need for accessibility, ER Films introduced an On-Demand Subscription service, offering users monthly access to the complete film and TV catalogue. This made high-quality African content readily available.
Production Company Original Content Creation: ER Films established a production company to create original content. This content was then brought to market through the company’s multi-channel approach, ensuring a consistent stream of fresh, engaging African stories.
Developing a Compelling Opportunity
ER Films painted a compelling picture of its mission and solution. It showcased the magnitude of the under-representation issue in media and emphasized how their services would bring about positive change. The company's commitment to quality, authenticity, and accessibility were core pillars of this narrative.
Developing an Execution Strategy
To effectively execute this vision, ER Films adopted a multi-channel go-to-market strategy:
Production Company: ER Films leveraged its production capabilities to create high-quality original content, addressing the under-representation issue at its source.
TV Channel: By launching a TV Channel on SKY through Vision 247, ER Films gained access to a broad audience in the UK and Europe, ensuring wide-reaching impact.
On-Demand Application: ER Films introduced an on-demand subscription service, making their entire catalog accessible across the UK, Europe, and Africa. This approach ensured convenience for consumers.
ER Films aimed to win market share in multiple geographical locations by offering a comprehensive solution to the under-representation of African culture in media.
4.2% of English People (2.4 million) belong to the black, Black British, Caribbean, or African ethnic group.
Loss of African Identity: A severe under-representation of black stories and actors in mainstream media.
Piracy and Revenue Loss: Limited legitimate ways for African producers to export movies.
Lack of Black Representation: A systemic lack of representation both off-screen and on-screen in British TV.
ER Films' vision was to not only change the narrative but also the landscape of African representation in media. By providing accessible, high-quality content, they aimed to empower the African Diaspora in the UK and Europe to embrace their cultural heritage while welcoming others to experience it.