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Experts Recount Impact Of COVID-19 On Showbiz In Nigeria

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Industry experts and stakeholders have appraised the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the entertainment business in Nigeria with a view to finding the way forward.

The music industry in Nigeria and other African countries has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as it has compelled performing artists, executives, and other key players in the industry to adapt, innovate and evolve new business and creative models.

This was the focus as MTV Base’s flagship roundtable show, Musicology – which aired on MTV Base DStv channel 322 and GOtv channel 72 this month, when some of the brightest young minds on the Nigerian entertainment scene came together to discuss and explore different aspects of the music business post the pandemic.

MTV Base is the leading youth media brand inspired by music in nearly 180 countries and 450 million homes worldwide, connecting with over 350 million fans across all social media platforms. MTV Base operations span across cable and mobile networks, live events like the MTV Nigeria Music Awards, reality shows, and music shows.

Participants at the roundtable show which featured some of the industry juggernauts, examined and dissected the theme, “The Entertainment Industry Post-Covid; Way Forward”. Famous musicians that participated in the deliberations include, Olamide, KiDi, Fireboy DML, Yaw Tog, Kizz Daniel, L.A.X.

Since its establishment in 2017, the Musicology discourse has hosted several thought leaders and will continue to serve as the authority for topics that will accelerate the growth of the industry, artists and African music culture.

Senior Channels Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa (parent brand of MTV Base), Solafunmi Sosanya said MTV Base continues to invest and inspire growth across the African music landscape with impact that extends globally.

While exploring the early impact of the pandemic, the Editor of Pulse Nigeria,   Motolani Alake broke down the issues using three major touch points, saying, “there was the music part, the business part, as well as the output and promotional part”.

According to him, people couldn’t perform and they had to find a way to make money, so a lot of artists started producing music at an excessive rate. “They couldn’t go on radio and as a result, the value of social media as a promotional tool increased”, he said. 

Corroborating Motolani’s viewpoint, Project Manager of EMPIRE, Titilope Adesanya  offered valuable insight to the challenges faced by marketers and managers alike in positioning talent.

“One very clear effect that COVID-19 had in my space was that artists had to move their albums forward. Although this initially affected the way we promoted their works, we had to push forward

 after we realised the pandemic had come to stay”, she stated.

The President of Digital Music Commerce and Exchange Limited, Oyinkansola Fawehinmi harped on the need operators to look beyond the music business in its traditional form and explore creative ways of diversifying and maximising their income – with reference to streaming.

While taking a contrary position, Music Critic/Columnist and Pop Culture Commentator, Joey Akan posited that for artists to beat all the restrictions posed by the pandemic, they should start organizing a lot of mini (COVID-compliant) shows and local tours across different states in the country.

Other issues addressed during the discourse include the increased value of social media as an engagement and promotional platform for artists, legalities involved in music publishing, challenges around the market share model of monetizing streaming, Nigeria’s increasing appetite for album consumption, and robust debate on who belongs on the Nigerian music industry’s exclusive top 6 list.


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