Music Week Africa Conference Discusses The Role Of The Music Industry In Revatilizing The Economy
Experts and stakeholders across the African music ecosystem gathered at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the 8th of December 2016 to discuss the opportunities, insights, and trends concerning the future of the African music industry. The event, which was the inaugural music business conference of Music Week Africa, brought together distinguished panelists to discuss the theme The Role of the Music Industry in Revitalizing the Economy: Jobs, Money and Opportunities. The conference was put together by MWA in partnership with Business Day Newspapers, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, The British Council, 7up Bottling Company PLC, and TRACE TV.
Speaking during his opening address, Mr. Audu Maikori, the founder of Music Week Africa, submitted that the Nigerian music industry has the potential to contribute immensely to the economy, yet rarely gets the required attention from government and investors. The lawyer turned entrepreneur also said that the music business can help take Nigeria out of economic recession while lamenting the fact that investors tend to see the music industry as a charity case only useful for its entertainment value. “The music industry is the new oil. It is what will take Nigeria out of recession. Investors see the industry as a charity case but the government needs us at this point in time,” said Maikori.
While delivering his Keynote address, the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Oscar.N.Onyema, OON, added that the African Music Landscape has grown significantly in the past few years. Nigeria’s entertainment and media market being the fastest-expanding major market globally. By 2019, he continued, the market will be more than twice as big, with an estimated total revenue of US$8.1 billion. Its major counterpart markets South Africa and Kenya would also reach $13.04bn, and US$3 billion respectively in 2019.
Mr Onyema OON, welcomed the vision behind the Music Week Africa Conference, stating that the NSE was “particularly proud to partner with Music Week Africa to promote the business of music and accelerate the growth of this sector in Africa. The Music Week Africa platform provides opportunities for sector players, investors and collaborators to close deals, network, connect as well as increase their capacity to develop profitable and sustainable business models for the music and entertainment industry on the continent”.
During the presentation of the MWA Music Industry overview, Mr Raoul Sawhney, Director of Finance and Technology at MWA held that issues like lack of proper distribution mechanisms and channels remain some of the biggest bedeviling the industry till date.
He added that Caller Ring Back Tunes serve as one of the major sources of revenues for the Nigerian entertainer as this is where the real value today is. According to findings from PricewaterhouseCoopers which he shared, the Nigerian entertainment industry recorded the sum of $51 million dollars in 2016 in total revenues from the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Tekno, Dbanj, Tubaba, Phyno, P-Square and others.
The Music Week Africa conference brought together industry experts to share ideas on three critical areas; Music and Brands, Licensing and Publishing, and Event Design and Management. The discourses were multilayered, with specific concentration on the relationships between corporate brands and the Nigerian music industry, as well as the multiple revenue streams within the industry, and how stakeholders could best find value in their dealings within the ecosystem.
While speaking at the closing of the event, the Project Lead, MWA Mr. Edward Israel-Ayide said the 2016 conference was only one of the various engagements and platforms that would be adopted by Music Week Africa to discuss and tackle the various challenges inherent in the African music ecosystem in the coming months, stating that “we look forward to welcoming a larger audience in 2017 to bring the lessons closer to those who will drive value and impact in the music industry”.