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Music streaming hits sweet note for Nigeria’s telecos

Music streaming hit sweet note for Nigeria’s telecos.

In 2014 alone, Nigeria's two leading telecoms companies MTN and Globacom generated more than NGN9 billion (approximately US$45 million) through the sale of caller tunes of Nigerian musicians. MTN is believed to have generated approximately NGN5 billion, while Globacom raised NGN4 billion.

Both telecoms companies said they've paid the sum to the respective musicians in form of royalties.

Each firm has also invested in the services of musicians as official brand ambassadors.

For Globacom, a large number of Nigeria's major musicians are the network's ambassadors. They include 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.

Others include Ayodeji Balogun (Wizkid), who recently terminated his contract with MTN. Globacom also signed Mavin crew's Koredo Bello, Reekado Banks and Hadizah Blell (Di'ja), although Michael Collins (Don Jazzy, who heads Mavin Crew) and the group's lead female artist Tiwa Savage are both MTN ambassadors.

Other artists signed up as MTN ambassadors include Sidney Esiri (Dr. Sid), Olanrewaju Fasasi (Sound Sultan), Iyanya Mbuk, Chidinma Ekile, Bankole Williams (Banky W), Kingsley Okonkwo (KCee) and David Adeleke (Davido). Music artiste and producer, Cobhams Asuquo is also signed to the network.

A top official from Globacom's corporate affairs division revealed that apart from paying "about NGN4 billion 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 $8.5 billion (NGN1.7 trillion)."

He revealed the network is interested in actively playing in the online music streaming sector as a result of the decline in digital download market.

"The streaming business is projected to grow at almost 40 per cent annually and will probably be over $2bn (N393bn) business in 2016," he said.

On its part, MTN said it is actively investing in Nigeria's music industry. "MTN has invested more than N1bn in talent discovery and development through the Project Fame sponsorship platform," said Funmi Onajide, general manager, corporate affairs.

"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 percent contributions to the total GDP growth."

"Beyond music, MTN has also made significant investments, partnerships and contributions to helping to address distribution and monetisation challenges of other creative talents."

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