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Caller tunes: Glo, MTN pay musicians N9bn 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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Posted By Bobricky On 09:26 Fri, 17 Jul 2015

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