The Founder and CEO of EbonyLife TV was the only African ranked alongside other international media, retail, technology, toy and social network companies including Facebook, Fitbit, Snapchat and Linkedin on the 2016 Business Insider 100: The Creators list.
On June 13, 2016, the Founder and CEO of EbonyLife TV Mo Abudu was the only African ranked alongside other international media, retail, technology, toy and social network companies including Facebook, Fitbit, Snapchat, Linkedin, etc on the 2016 Business Insider 100: The Creators list.
Several Nigerians seemed upset at the fact that other female media influencers like Funmi Iyanda, Mildred Okwo and the late Amaka Igwe did not make the list. Firstly, the Business Insider 100: The Creators list was not gender specific. It ranked both male and female founders and CEOs of companies from one to hundred. According to an article on Business Insider, this list was compiled not just on the financial achievement of the listed companies, but also for their “commitment to a bigger picture of leadership and innovation”. Secondly, it was not a media industry specific list.
There is a reason why Mo Abudu made the business visionaries list and others didn’t. In setting the list, the American business and technology news website explored “leaders making bold moves to create value for four constituencies: shareholders, employees, consumers, and society".
Abudu started her television journey with her talk show “Moments with Mo”. With over 300 episodes, the show aired across Africa via M-Net reaching 48 countries, it was the first daily talk show to be distributed across the continent. After establishing herself as a household name, she branched out even further and took on the task of launching EbonyLife TV on June 30, 2013 as a Nigerian, Pan-African satellite television channel which broadcast not only in Nigeria but across the African continent on the DStv network.
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EbonyLife TV is one of Africa’s biggest television channels reaching not only Nigeria and South Africa, but 49 other African countries via one of Africa’s largest pay-TV platforms - DSTV. Since the channel went live on July 1, 2013, its distribution has extended not only to the continent but also to Canada, the Caribbeans and the United Kingdom.
The channel produces over 1000 hours of original content and programming including TV series, documentaries and film in different genres namely: comedy, drama, entertainment, factual, lifestyle and more. Most recently, the channel partnered with the Walt Disney Company to produce "Desperate Housewives Africa", based on the multiple award winning ABC Television drama hit series, Desperate Housewives.
Abudu spoke to Pulse Nigeria last year about adapting foreign stories for Africans.
“Because these are stories that we are so familiar with. And I think that it’s interesting to take those stories that has been so well written in the Western world, and put in an African spin on it. We did that with Desperate Housewives, and as American as ‘Desperate Housewives’ was, we made it our own, and you could watch it, and you could relate to it”.
Mo Abudu has also expressed her passion for telling African stories. In 2014, EbonyLife Films was created and their first feature film was ‘Fifty’ was debuted. ‘Fifty’ was well received worldwide and was a box office success in Nigeria.
As at March 2016, it is estimated that through various revenue generating streams, the film grossed over ₦400m. In partnership with Film One Distribution, "Fifty" made nearly ₦100m through Box Office takings alone. Premiere Sponsorship/ Partnerships; Private screenings; a first-of-its-kind deal with Internet streaming provider, Netflix; In-flight Entertainment deals and Video-on-Demand (VOD) are amongst the other revenue streams.
The media personality is 56th on the list which includes the likes of Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and many others.
Other media professionals to make the Business Insider list include Jonah Peretti; co founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, Ellen DeGeneres; producer “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and Founder Ellen Digital Network.