The country is arguably the musical giant of Africa
Despite the musical triumphs of her several top artistes, Nigeria has failed to make it into the world’s top 20 biggest music markets for 2012, the latest ranking by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI, claims.
The federation placed the United State of America number one, with $4.17 billion (N661 billion) trade value – 49% each for physical and digital market and a $13.4 (N2, 100) per person consumption.
Japan was ranked 2nd, with $3.96 billion (N630 billion) market value with 73% for physical market, and 25% for digital market; Germany was 3rd, with $1.41 billion (N224 billion) market value, and a physical and digital market value of 81% and 13% respectively. Fourth was the United Kingdom, with a market value of $1.38 billion (N219 billion); physical market, 67%; and digital market, 25%.
South Africa, at 18, was the only African country on the list, with a trade value of $125.6 million (N20 billion) and a physical and digital market of 93% and 5% respectively.
With the international success of many Nigeria music stars this year- Iyanya, Whizkid, Ice Prince, P Square, D’Banj– some industry insiders were wont to disagree with the ranking, while others, enumerating the many challenges plaguing the industry, said Nigeria not being on the list was justified, and the country would not be included in the 2013 list
Too many issues
A music blogger and writer (HipHop World, Popoff Central), Ayomide Tayo, said Nigeria would not make the 2013 list, despite its huge population and number of records released this year. According to Tayo, Nigerian music revenue could increase and the country make the IFPL ranking if the music industry put its house in order and keyed into social media.
“For Nigeria to become one of the biggest music markets we need to have a functioning music industry. We need to get the basics right. The revenue that this so called industry of ours is making has been cut short by piracy, traditional media and the internet. We need to aggressively battle these monsters before we can start making serious revenue in this country,” he said.
He noted that the inability of record labels to see beyond making profit from performance fees, and disregarding digital platforms as avenues where they could promote their artistes and sell records were other limiting factors.
“The record labels in Nigeria have a narrow mind-set. Taking a large chunk of performance fees only gets you so far. The bread and butter of music lie in the sales of albums, EPs and singles.
“Digital platforms are new in Nigeria. Record labels in Nigeria need to have a working relationship with these platforms. They need to stop giving blogs the authority to post download-links for songs. Why should I buy a song from Spinlet when I can get it on Pop Off Central?
“Labels in Nigeria have to agree that songs sent to blogs should only be streamed and not made available for download. That way, they can make money from digital platforms thereby increasing revenue,” he advised.
He also pointed out touring as another source of revenue for labels and their artistes.
“Touring in Nigeria is non-existent. The music industry in Nigeria has to invest in this area heavily before it can think of being one of the biggest music industries in the world,” Tayo said.
An entertainment lawyer, Demilade Olaosun, agreed with Tayo’s points on the lack effective monetisation of the industry. Olaosun also advocated effective laws by government that would protect intellectual property (IP) rights, adding that industry stakeholders could handle, amongst themselves, piracy, internet financial transaction system and an effective royalty calculation system.
“Of course, there are so many things to be dealt with; from piracy to effective internet financial transactions system, which would make purchase of music through the right channels easy and fast.
“Also, there is a need for an effective royalty calculation and collection system, honesty and professionalism amongst practitioners regarding royalty delivery, effective legislation protecting IP rights, increased participation by corporate entities and the government, increased knowledge on monetisation of the end products on multiple platforms for labels and artistes, more attention to the business aspect of the industry – and a host of other issues,” he said.
Reacting to a projection by industry stakeholders that the Nigerian entertainment industry would hit the $1billion (N155 billion) mark by 2016, Olaosun declared that the music industry would play a huge role in making that possible.
However, unlike Tayo, Olaosun was of the opinion that the music industry was close to making IFPI top 20 list for this year.
“I think we are definitely playing in the top 20. I stand to be corrected though,” he said.
For D’Banj, IFPI not a definitive voice
However, the failure of the London based organisation to reveal its parameters for ranking countries had led some Nigerian music industry stakeholders to question its rankings.
D’banj, a major player in the music industry, was one of the major skeptics. According to him, the Nigerian music market was far better than the South African one.
He told PREMIUM TIMES, “Must you believe everything they (IFPI) say about us? Were they in Nigeria to check how much each artiste or label grosses every year?
“In an unstructured structure where there is no light, where 1+1 does not mean 2, where there is piracy, Nigerian artistes are grossing millions yearly, and you tell me we are not the biggest music market in Africa? Even the South Africans who you say are on the list wish they were Nigerian artistes now.”
He, however, conceded on the ranking of the US as number one.
“Why won’t US be number 1? When they (US) have a solid distribution network, when there is revenue from adverts and endorsements.”
Perhaps, the greatest obstacle to Nigerian music making such rankings would be the availability of data. There is hardly any data that shows album sales in Nigeria.
Even at the digital level where data is available, it does not translate to money for either the artiste or label, and by extension, the market revenue, according to another entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa.
Ayinoluwa also agreed with D’banj’s call to disregard the IFPI ranking, saying that the organisation should release its full parameters for ranking music markets, as well as visit different countries to know how music works there.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted IFPI, one of its representatives, Laura Childs, explained, “The ranking is based on the size of each recorded music market in revenue terms, i.e. the market with largest revenues (USA) is in first place, and so on. We have local affiliate groups across the world who report their local sales data to us.”
Childs, however, refused to disclose IFPI’s Nigerian affiliate.
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