Music Business

Attention African Music Bloggers, the Tech Industry is About to Eat Your Lunch

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I saw this very interesting article meant for social media types in general but it confirmed my trend observation, for a while now, and I thought to share both the article and my thoughts; tailored to the African market.

I believe in the  next 2-3years,  in the African music space,  music blogs (not to be confused with a web distributor and digital media business like Truspot or IwantAirplay) will no longer be relevant.

This means music blogs in the African space that primarily just upload mp3s and embed videos will have to find a way to innovate and re-carve a niche for themselves. My conclusion is based on several things:

1. The competition is stiff and the market is now saturated when it comes to African music blogs. There are many blogs who now just put up mp3s and embed videos. These blogs are not easily ignored because while they may not have thousands of followers on twitter or facebook, they certainly rank on the first page of google, which is significant.

2. Social media users have become pretty savvy and they go directly to the fan page of the artist or their social media  sites like You Tube to directly share videos, mp3s; bypassing the need to even stop by a music blog.

3. On most African owned music blogs, there is no real curating of music. Most throw in the kitchen sink. There is a need to curate good music. If there is no curation, then your blog is like everyone else’s and lasting in a competitive market will be very tough in the next few years as bigger players with stronger infrastructure and monies come in.

4. Indeed new entrants such as Spinlet have entered the marketplace. This means, in the case of Spinlet, for example, they do on the ground marketing and promotions, give visibility to African artists and negotiate collaborations with international acts. However, they are not conceding the online market, albeit they are new. They have employed an extremely popular blogger like Linda Ikeji whose readers now include music lovers and industry people to help divert traffic to their website. We also have seen Ghana’s Vodafone step in with a parallel concept. Fans can enjoy the songs of their artists, enjoy latest news regarding their artists and directly purchase at reasonable prices from Vodafone’s website,for example.

What all of these translates to is that African music bloggers are gonna have to have something more than mp3s and embedded videos to last in a competitive music space, otherwise, expect the Tech types like Spinlet and other similar techie owned or driven companies to eat your lunch.

Read article that inspired this post here.

-Uduak
@uduaklaw

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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2 Comments

  1. […] visitors to Spinlet, what does that mean for music blogs in the future? Remember my article on technology companies that are about to eat the lunch of African music bloggers? This scenario is a great example of […]

  2. Uduak, I agree with majority of the point you make. In this digital age (from a business perspective), competition and monopoly are simply inevitable.

    The problem (issue) with most African or Nigerian music blogs is that they are not really business oriented or should I say “Capitalists” like Iroko partners, Spinlet, etc. This bloggers do what they do out of passion, love for Nigerian music, or they feel the need to promote their local or favorite artists. Further more, blogging is just an additional gig or source of income for them, their life don’t depend on it unlike the big or emerging players in the Nigerian music sphere – today.

    Bloggers must learn to make wise business decisions, affiliations, or partnerships with any major music distributor. I for one, have observed several scenarios where bloggers are used by bigger players for traffic, without no sustainable or true reward to the bloggers – Iroko partners is a culprit in this slick practice.

    But I think it’s important for bloggers to build relationship (get personal) with their readers (no matter how small), including email subscription/marketing; not just uploading or embedding videos. Bloggers are best at building relationship with readers, that is something major players like Spinlet, Iroko, can never do effectively – as capitalism is their main objective.

    It’s going to get tough between the major players and music distributors as they compete heavily to be as relevant or as big as the need be, but music blogs will continue to thrive if they play their cards right. I think it’s better to negotiate acquisition of your music blog by a major player, than being used for traffic or exposure. After all, blog is a web property that is built and sold by many strategic bloggers today.

    Ibe

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