Creative Industries and Informal Economies: The Case of Nigerian Video
International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 337-354, 2010
32 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009 Last revised: 21 Dec 2010
Date Written: July 1, 2009
Since the emergence of its video industry in the 1990s, Nigeria has become the largest film producer in the world by output. Its informal economy now provides around two thousand films a year for a pan-African audience, and the industry has grown rapidly without assistance from the state, NGOs, or the film festival circuit. This article analyses the rise of ‘Nollywood’ through the lens of current debates in media studies. The Nigerian video economy offers compelling evidence for the role of informal markets in creating efficient and economically sustainable media industries. Its success also has implications for current debates around copyright and media piracy. I conclude that reading Nigerian video as a creative industry represents a useful way to rematerialize media studies in the overdeveloped world.
Keywords: Nigerian video, Nollywood, creative industries, informality, copyright, intellectual property, piracy, regulation, informal media economies
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