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Announcing our Hiatus

Conakry, the 25th August 2022

Dear 224Flix Users,

After much internal deliberation, we (the 224Flix team) have decided to suspend most of our operations on the project, for the forseeable future, as we have run into a problem that requires us to rethink our model going forward. This was not a light decision to arrive at, and in this blog post, we will be explaining the reasoning behind this decision.

First, for some context, 224Flix is meant to be Hybrid company with two crucial sides; Technology & Marketing.

Execution on the Technology side involved building a robust scalable platform, that is on par with industry standards (i.e: Netflix, hulu) using the latest technology architectures. This, we have been able to achieve with relative success. By developing our solution in-house, a significant cost investment was avoided and we were able to keep costs significantly low. The resource efficiency achieved with our current setup is so high that we have multiple orders of cost advantages if we were to compete with someone else on tech cost. Our current platform supports hosting and streaming videos up to 4K, subtitling for multiple-languages, is fast due to leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs), and can quickly scale up and down to accomodate varying usage. These are features our customers never got to see, as we lacked the content to showcase them.

Execution on the Marketing side is were things got a bit dicey. We should perhaps clarify that, when we say Marketing, we are not just referring to advertising. This part of the project includes us licensing the products of various producers in Guinea, building and maintaining solid relationships with them, and actively marketing and promoting their product through our social media pages and on our platform. This aspect of the project, we have struggled with. Signing on producers to the platform has been more challenging than we initially anticipated. The lack of growing content, coupled with the low quality of our current mix of videos, has resulted in a key dillema for us around content. As we do not feel it would be appropriate to charge our users for our current catalogue of content, these have been offered for free. Nevertheless, this is not a sustainable way to run a business whose aim is to eventually turn a profit. Perhaps, our long term plan of creating our own in-house production studio might help us solve our content problem. Or perhaps, we need a more solid connection or partnership with existing local producers, and offering them a lump sum for content licensing, rather than our current proposed revenue-sharing model would easily convince them. But since we are currently unable to execute on both these ideas primarily due to the lack of significant capital required, it might be best to pause the project until we can either; raise money from external investors or find an alternative solution. We believe that is a better plan than slowly bleeding to death on our current trajectory.

Since launching 224Flix back in May 2022, reception has been fantastic, with thousands of users signing up to enjoy local guinean content. The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, much so than we initially anticipated. From the bottom of our hearts, We would like to sincerely thank you all for cheering and supporting us, both in public and private. Thank you for believing and accompanying us in this short but animated journey. We definitely haven’t said our last word, and will be back stronger.