Oye Akideinde is the co-founder of 360nobs Limited, a technology driven marketing and entertainment services firm. In this expose, he talks about the innovations, trends and future of the Nigerian music industry in this technological driven era.
– By Oye Akideinde
The Future Of The Nigerian Music Industry
The demand for homegrown music has never been this high which has helped to drive a creative and exploitative boom in the country’s thriving music industry.
I believe it is headed in the right direction with production, composition, music arrangement along with its support system (skillsets, distribution platforms, music services, publishing, and touring), improving and getting better structured.
Nigerian artistes are now collaborating internationally more and more. The Big 3 (Sony, Universal and Warner) are divvying up our biggest and most promising acts amongst each other. Our music keeps getting played worldwide.
This growth can be tied to a number of factors working in our favour;
- Home court advantage: Most of the songs or videos played on radio; TV stations and public spaces are Nigerian music. Compared to 10years ago, the acceptance and demand for local music over the international ones is simply amazing.
- The African diaspora: Consumers help drive popularity and virality of music generally so by having a huge diaspora who hunger for entertainment from home, Nigerian music has been successfully exported in volumes to cater to the global market. Live events like One Africa Music Fest have also turned out to become very successful.
- The sound: Nigerian producers have been able to successfully fuse African elements into hip-hop, reggae, soul, pop, RnB, dancehall along with our own Nigerian and African genres.
- Size: The volume of music being churned out in Nigeria by artistes is astounding.
Innovations to Look out For
Digitalization has affected the Nigerian music industry in a big way. As music moves online, so does the consumer experience. Through technology, artistes can now make music from their laptops and mobile phones. They can also distribute to over 170 stores globally.
As we continue to see the Nigerian music industry grow, these are some of the innovations I look forward to:
- Micropayments: Building a successful micropayment solution will act as a driving force to grow music consumption and revenues for the artistes. Nigeria and Africa continue to cry for that killer mobile payment solution that works within our issues – offline, online, banked, under-banked, and unbanked and will allow consumers the freedom to utilize their digital wallets.
- New music services and apps: The opportunities for music related apps in Nigeria is huge as the growth in Smartphone usage continue to rise. As long as App developers can create killer apps that solve problems, appeal or are very useful to Nigerians, adoption of these apps will grow in tandem with the smartphone growth.
- Sound Engineering for Live Events: I see an opportunity to make the sound quality at events better. Some of the events I have been to have such terrible user experience and I know a lot of artistes who say this is the reason why they rather mime to sound recordings than do live performances.
- Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Live Streaming of Events: It provides more access to those who can’t readily go and watch their favourite artistes. It can also give musicians the valuable exposure they need to be successful as it can be difficult for artistes to physically tour and reach a wider audience, but with VR, AR, and live streaming, they can be in more places than one. Imagine having a sold out concert at Eko Hotel with over 10,000 attendees and a further 100,000 experiencing it using a smartphone from the comfort of their own homes.
Promoting Longevity In The Industry
There are a number of things that artistes and other game players in the industry can do to ensure longevity in the music industry.
- See this as a career. Treat music like a proper job …like an 8 to 5.
- Be very hardworking, have the hunger to improve; and an insight into the market you are releasing your records to.
- Be creative and innovative with your sound so it can appeal to Nigerians.
- As with any other chosen career, you will need to research the music industry. Find out what’s popular, what’s doing well, and what’s fading.
- Keep up with the trends …don’t be behind the times — be ahead!
- Believe you can DIY (Do It Yourself) – Connect with fans; Have a brand identity & awareness; play to your strengths;
- Manage your finances; save for the rainy periods.
- Keep plugging away. Rejection is very common in the music industry. No one wants to help out; competition is very fierce. Just stay consistent. Never give up (unless you find out that you truly have no talent). Rejections lead to success.
- Read, learn, practice. Just keep acquiring knowledge in the field and try to be the best you can be. Also acquire knowledge on music business and other services that support your craft.
- Remember to always stay positive and believe in yourself! Keep working hard and stay focused.
In the end, there isn’t any right or wrong way to achieve longevity but these tips above do help.
Leveraging Tools Available
First realize that no one is waiting for your music. If people are going to become fans of your music, you must approach the promoting of releases with the same planning and professionalism as the artistes whom you admire have promoted their music. Marketing music has changed drastically in the age of the Internet and social media. This digital technology has the potential to take your music to the world.
Use the Internet and all its tools to your advantage. Besides having your own domain name and website where you promote releases and shows, you definitely need a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Try not to over-commit your time to social media, however. It’s better to have an execution plan and schedule for your social media rather than do a poor or infrequent job of staying in touch with your fan-base. Make access to your music easy through Boomplay Music, YouTube, or promotional sites like 360nobs.com and SoundCloud.
Permission-based marketing using emails to your fanbase is a proven winner—these are people who clicked on the subscribe link and showed willingness to stay updated with your news and new releases! Having a newsletter which people can join is one of the best ways to communicate and build up relationships with fans.
Contribution of New Media to the Music Industry
New Media has helped in breaking down the walls between musicians and fans and is responsible for possibly the biggest shift in the music industry.
In today’s digital music environment, access to content for music fans has never been easier. Consumers now have more choice than ever to stream songs using a range of ‘all-you-can-eat’ services such as Boomplay Music, Spotify, Apple Music &SoundCloud.
New Media has given musicians more control over the distribution of their music and through the use of these DIY services; many Nigerian artists now have the option to bypass the industry conventions completely and promote their music to a larger audience.
Social media has also played a massive role, as artistes no longer need to appeal to millions of people to succeed and make their mark. Instead, a group of even a few hundred loyal fans on the gram can enable Nigerian artistes to pursue their dreams.
Furthermore, due to the rise in digital music production software such as Fruity Loops, music creation is now more accessible than ever before. Because of this, there are now loads of Nigerian artistes, which ultimately leads to more variety and choice listeners.
Leverage the data provided by the social media platforms. Tapping into the analytics can help you further your own creativity. You get to understand how fans feel about your music and the demographics of your fan-base.Do remember that Marketing and social media aren’t easy, but it’s what gets your music heard.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.