“No scam”: Nigerian musicians are making millions from streaming platforms – Entertainment lawyer, Ugo Nweke

Nigeria’s Afrobeats music seems to be the new wave across the globe in recent times. Today, you will find several Nigerian artists on major music charts around the world including Billboard and World Music.

As a result of the impact of Afrobeats, top American and European musicians are now more than ever open to collaborations with Nigerian musicians and even trying out the Afrobeats percussions in some of their music.

Not only have Nigerian musicians gained global recognition, and hosted sold-out concerts, their current popularity has earned them millions of streamings across different streaming platforms, thanks to a fast-growing fanbase. Speaking with Legit.ng about how Nigerian musicians are making millions of nairas from streaming platforms is Ugochukwu Nweke, an entertainment lawyer and music connoisseur.

Nweke who has been active in the entertainment industry for close to two decades traced how music consumption has evolved in the last few decades, a shift from analog to different phases of digitalization.

If you are a millennial, you would remember the vinyl records and cassette players. And then later, we started consuming music from CDs and DVDs. This was the era when music marketers in Alaba Internation market were the go-to guys.

In the 1990s came the MP3 player devices which were a favourite of many young people. It allowed you a system where you can carry your music with you wherever you went to. Most of all that have gone out of fashion today. So, a lot of music consumers now rely on music streaming platforms including Tidal, Deezer, Apple, Audiomack, Boomplay, Spotify, Amazon, Soundcloud, YouTube Music, and others.

One of the major advantages of streaming platforms is the availability of a variety of different genres of music from local and international musicians. Some of the streaming platforms allow users to listen for free, while others allow free downloads. Most others require paid subscriptions for premium music.

Nweke said the streaming platforms devote a percentage of their revenue to the payment of artistes’ royalties. He said the two major ways streaming platforms generate revenue are subscriptions from users and adverts that are paid for by advertisers to appear on the platforms. Interestingly, different streaming platforms offer different rates. The popularity of the artiste and the region across the world he/she is from is also a consideration. Nweke however advises musicians to get on a label or work with a music distributor that would help facilitate the contract with the streaming service on their behalf.

Depending on the contract and the streaming platform, a musician can earn as much as $6000 (approximately N2.7 million) for every 1 million streams. This is the average revenue raised from just one streaming platform. Some musicians have their music streaming from as many as 8 different platforms.

Even though the rate changes in period and by country, a musician whose music is enjoying some sort of popularity will reap the benefits of streaming royalties.

Except for instances when music consumers stumble on good music or artists while on streaming platforms, they are mostly there to listen to their favourites who are obviously the popular guys.

The simple mathematics in streaming earnings is the more streams, the more money a musician makes. This begs the question, “What must a budding musician do to grow more streams?”

Earnings from streams strongly depend on the number of streams. Even though some people engage in expensive marketing schemes and purchase fake plays with streaming farms, what an artiste can do to grow streams organically is to market themselves, post music on social media platforms and patronise playlists curators.

They can also release new music more consistently, but most importantly, make sure their music is good enough. If they are consistent in doing some of the aforementioned, they are sure of being on the right track to getting more streams.

A musician who is popular or whose music is generating massive airplays will have no problem making money from multiple sources unless they are not making the right moves. Nweke stated that, unlike other professions, musicians can earn income from several sources. Typically, musicians earn from physical album sales, airplay royalties and performing at shows. The smarter guys are, in addition, exploring other sources including merchandise sales, brand endorsement, social media postings, etc.

This is not only applicable to the likes of Davido, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Burna Boy who have already gone global. Newer musicians like Seyi Vibes, Asake, Spyro, BNXN and Joeyboy are also tapping into these sources.

So when you see our musicians buying new cars, houses and luxury items, you can rest assured that they are not doing scams, but living off their earnings from music streaming and other sources of revenue.

Nigerian musicians are experiencing a significant surge in streaming income on platforms like Spotify, thanks to the growing popularity of Afrobeats and Nigerian music worldwide.

Nigerian musicians are experiencing a significant surge in streaming income on platforms like Spotify, thanks to the growing popularity of Afrobeats and Nigerian music worldwide.

One notable example is the award-winning musician Wizkid who is now officially the most streamed artist on Spotify.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *