The advent and growth of streaming services in Nigeria

The advent and growth of streaming services in Nigeria

Music blogs and websites offering free and illegal music downloads have over the years,  ruled the music industry in Nigeria serving as channels for “supposed” effective PR  to transform desperate upcoming artistes into overnight superstars at the cost of thousands of naira to these artistes while still ripping them of millions of naira that can be generated from music streaming. 

Digitalization led to music streaming services gaining traction in Nigeria around 2011 with the advent of Callertunes provided by mobile networks at 50 naira per tune for users. The advent of local streaming platforms like Iroking, Spinlet, Udux among others also engineered a massive turnaround in the streaming culture in Nigeria.

Some of the major problems that strongly opposed the success of streaming platforms in Nigeria include lack of exposure and sufficient knowledge of intellectual property provisions by relevant stakeholders like the artistes and record labels, absence of affordable streaming platforms for music listeners, and absence of a solid legal framework to deal with Intellectual property infringements.

To combat these problems, sensitization programs by bodies like Copyright Right Society of Nigeria (COSON)) and Entertainment lawyers have aided the dissemination of knowledge on the importance of music streaming to relevant stakeholders (artists themselves and music listeners). This knowledge has helped relevant stakeholders to understand more about intellectual property theft and plagiarism which is evident in the illegal and free downloads that these music platforms offer.

Streaming platforms like Udux have partnered with banks like GTB through the “Habari” app to aid easier payment of subscription fees that are as low as 400 naira a month while mobile networks providers like MTN that floats the streaming platform” Musicplus” have tailored special data plans exclusively for streaming music on the platform for as low as 200 naira a month.

More than ever before, Nigerians are willing to access quality music with original artworks, lyrics, organized playlists, and the tracks information made available on these streaming platforms for a small weekly/monthly charge.

A lot of record labels and artists interested in maximizing revenue, reducing illegal downloads of their music, and getting accurate listeners data for endorsements and future projects have also been lobbying for stricter laws for punishing intellectual property infringements, cheaper data subscriptions as well a favorable revenue sharing formula between streaming platforms and artistes to encourage artistes in promoting these platforms to their fans thus increasing the popularity of the platforms and consequently the streaming culture in the country.

It is interesting to note that some music blogs are already embracing streaming options on their platforms by impending streaming links or redirecting to them as it is foreseen that the home-based streaming platforms like Udux, Boomplay, as well as foreign heavyweight streaming platforms like apple music, tidal, the highly successful Audiomack among others, are on the verge of totally eradicating music blogs and websites in Nigeria just like the centralized Alaba music distribution system was eradicated.

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