Mtn, Glo pay Musicians N9b royalties

The two biggest mobile telecommunication
operators in the country, MTN Nigeria and
Globacom, generated over N9bn for the local
music industry in 2014 through the monetisation of
caller tunes.
While MTN generated over N5bn for the Nigerian
musical artistes who sell their contents as caller
tunes on its platform, Globacom is said to have
brought in about N4bn.
The money generated for the industry was in form
of royalties paid to music artistes who served or
are still serving as brand ambassadors to the two
telecoms companies in the year.
The Glo music ambassadors, whose contracts
were recently renewed, are Nigeria’s leading
music stars, Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare),
Oladapo Oyebanjo (D’Banj), Chinedu Okoli
(Flavour), Jude Abaga (M. I.), Oluwatobi Ojosipe
(Wande Coal), Omawumi Megbele, Bez Idakula,
Burna Ogulu (Burna Boy), Ego Ogbaro and Sammie
Okposo.
Globacom also signed on hip hop sensation,
Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid, after
he terminated his contract with MTN. It also signed
on the Mavin crew of Koredo Bello, Reekado Banks
and Hadizah Blell (Di’ja).
However, the leader of the Mavin Group, Michael
Ajereh (Don Jazzy) leads other music artistes on
the MTN network. He is joined by Tiwa Savage,
Sidney Esiri (Dr. Sid), Olanrewaju Fasasi (Sound
Sultan), Iyanya Mbuk, Chidinma Ekile, Bankole
Williams (Banky W), Kingsley Okonkwo (KCee) and
David Adeleke (Davido).
MTN also recently signed on the visually impaired
music artiste and producer, Cobhams Asuquo.
Our correspondent obtained the figures from the
telecommunications companies on Wednesday,
amid plans to announce an on-demand music
service.
An employee in the Corporate Affairs Division of
Globacom, who pleaded anonymity, said that apart
from paying “about N4bn in form of royalties to Glo
music ambassadors, Glo plans to lead the music
streaming business in the future, which valuation
is estimated to be about $8.5bn (N1.7tn).”
He said Globacom’s interest in the music
streaming business might be due to the decline in
digital download business, adding, “The streaming
business is projected to grow at almost 40 per
cent annually and will probably be over $2bn
(N393bn) business in 2016.”
It was gathered that the new and rising stream of
revenue for the telecoms firms might have
accounted for the recent scramble for top music
artistes in the country by both Globacom and MTN.
While MTN declined to renew the contracts of
some of its music brand ambassadors last month,
Globacom quickly poached them with higher bids.
However, aside the over N5bn generated for the
music industry, MTN said the brand
ambassadorship, appearances and performances
fees made for the artistes amounted to over
N500m.
“MTN has invested more than N1bn in talent
discovery and development through the Project
Fame sponsorship platform,” the company’s
General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Miss Funmi
Onajide, said.
“The recent rebasing of the country’s Gross
Domestic Product puts the contributions of the
entertainment/music sector at $7bn (N1.4tn) of the
total value of $510bn (N100.4tn). This represents
3.7 per cent contributions to the total GDP growth,”
she added.
According to her, MTN’s leadership contribution in
the sector has impacted positively on the lives of
Nigerian creative talents.
Onajide stated that beyond music, “MTN has also
made significant investments, partnerships and
contributions to helping to address distribution and
monetisation challenges of other creative talents.”
The Managing Director, Universal Music, Sweden,
Per Sundin, had in December 2013 urged telecoms
firms in Nigeria to take to streaming the contents
of their music ambassadors “rather than just
serving as ring tones.”
“I am 100 per cent sure that this is the future.
Streaming services will be the next step for global
music consumption,” he had said.

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