Over the years, the Nigerian music industry has been making a great deal of noise in some markets, particularly the UK, coupled with the growth of certain artists like D'banj. For example, there was a seminal deal with D'banj singing to Good Music and Chocolate City record label was also growing, as was Wizkid. As a result, this music genre, often called Afrobeat, was getting exciting. Prior to that, within Nigeria, artists were already selling out shows. From a major-label music industry standpoint, there was a great deal of excitement around ring-back tones, which generated great revenue. Moreover, when streaming was picking up in developing markets, it was obvious that derivative music purchase product would eventually move over to streaming. We missed the download space, meaning that we went from ring-back tones to streaming. When I first set up the office, a key partner was Music+. MTN is the biggest partner in the ring-back tone space as it has an initiative with Huawei related to a streaming service. That was a key reason we bedded down to license major label catalog into this streaming service. We also licensed our catalog to the ring-back tone side of the business. However, that was never the focus. The Nigerian diaspora is large, which creates the space to spread the word of Nigerian music. While it is still a niche market, Nigerian acts are popular in places like the UK.
May. 16, 2019
General Manager , West Africa, Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Country Manager, Kwesé
Kwesé TV is a new business that started two years ago and is divided into five platforms. Every business must take into account the key global influencers of change: the internet, globalization, and technology. Hence, it was important for us to recognize that these factors are changing the way we view business models, consumer behavior, and how you present a particular concept for a particular service. Africa is open to global changes, so while establishing Kwesé it was important to not replicate old business models. Thereafter, we took advantage of the core of our group, which is telecommunication; the company understands the consumer from the telecoms perspective, particularly mobile telephone. The key is to learn how consumers utilize their money and where they find the distribution infrastructure. We have learned, for example, that most people are on daily and weekly wages, so when the rest of the companies were introducing contracts, we insisted on pre-paid. Our vision is for Kwesé TV to be a household name in the media industry. We will be able to work with the broadband providers to reduce the prices in order to create access for a larger client base. I am also looking forward to creating a platform for content providers to produce their content. We are looking at how to use technology to empower young people and create jobs, and hopefully by this time in 2020, we will be talking about a completely new story.
Executive Director, Silverbird Group
Silverbird is a diversified multimedia company and I have seen the impact of the brand on the entertainment industry. My vision is to make our entertainment industry match international standards. Silverbird wants to be able to play a vital role in various areas that help promote the entertainment industry. In comparison to other international entertainment industries, we are on the same level in terms of export and the amount of content that goes out. What is important is to match the level of quality so we can ensure that we get maximum exposure. One of the biggest things that has helped Nollywood producers is being able to see how they can create films that can perform next to some of their favorite titles. Moreover, producers are able to measure how various movies perform next to each other. The overall industry will benefit greatly from more data becoming available. In terms of marketing, we have strong relationships with various brands and our distribution arm allows movies to get as much exposure not just in Nigeria but in West Africa. Nigeria's largest, and probably the most valuable export is its entertainment industry. Perception of culture is one of the key decision makers along with the ease of doing business and government policies for investors willing to invest in Nigeria. The entertainment industry in general allows us to create an image of Nigeria and its culture.