Recently the music industry reached a scary milestone; 100,000 new songs are uploaded to digital platforms every day. What does this mean for musicians across Africa and how should they respond?
The quick answer is that many songs will go totally unnoticed. Those that breakthrough will most likely earn lower streaming revenues since streams will now be spread across a larger number of artists.
It is not all doom and gloom though. Here are some smart ways in which musicians should respond.
1. Build Online Properties
Invest in your own online properties (website/online store) with proper CRM and e-commerce tools. This will allow direct sales to your fans and earn better margins on your music and merchandise. Knowing your true fans beyond social media is going to be more critical than ever.
2. Leverage Concerts for Contacts
Covid seems to have created great hunger for concerts. Be more deliberate about building fan contact lists from concerts so then you can later direct them to your online properties. If you’ve got music that is hitting, ride the concert hunger to build your base while it exists.
3. Push at Home → Diaspora → International
When thinking about release and growth, invest in avenues that hit home first, followed by diaspora, before chasing international audiences. Home radio, TV, TikTok influencers are a good idea. The budget required to get and retain “international audience” attention is going to be significantly higher.
4. Collaborate Beyond Borders
When thinking about international or regional growth, tag-team with another artist where possible. Combining and cross-selling fan bases makes business sense in this situation. It will be a warm and softer introduction of you and your music to new geographies or countries.
5. Fix Home Royalties
In a lot of our countries, royalties are still broken. Collection societies are still quite inefficient. It is possible to get this problem fixed, especially if musicians demand it. Apps like SongBoost now empower musicians with data with which the lost royalties opportunity can be quantified. Arm yourself with data and push for the right action. If this is solved, traditional media will be turned into the largest monetized streaming platform, much bigger than all the digital ones combined.