Industry News, Music Business

Jason Njoku & iROKING Announce New CEO Post Michael Ugwu Sensational Exit


Folks, there have been lawsuits filed, exciting industry celebrations, new music releases, reunions, industry moves and so much more. I look forward to catching up and sharing some of these events with you all.

In the meantime, Jason Njoku and his team at IROKING sent the following release  post the sensational and dramatic exit of IROKING’s former CEO Michael Ugwu.

I think it is good that the company stays fighting and hopefully Njoku has learnt a thing or two from the recent departure of Ugwu, especially when it comes to employe relations.

I have also added an excerpt from Njoku on explanation for taking over and leading IROKING.

Finally, from a business standpoint, the only thing I find curious and interesting is Njoku’s consistent statements to the public in prior  articles and the present one  (excerpt below) about not viewing his company’s finances or metrics for rather extended periods or in this instance over a year.

Presumably, he shouldn’t wait for such extended periods. Given that he does, I am unsure why this is or should be public information. Also, it seems to undermine his credibility or statements on the financial well being of his company. If your ex-CEO who has worked on the company daily and know it inside out says the business is failing, why should you who is now glancing at the data a year later and claiming the business is actually profitable be believed? In any event, I understand the need to do what must be done and also change the rhetoric in the media space. I do think disclosing the lack of oversight on your company’s finances is a bit TMI (too much information).

In any event, time will tell with these things.

Let me know what you think about the new direction of IROKING.

Have a healthy and productive day ahead.


Courtesy image

2 December 2013. iROKING, Nigeria’s leading digital music platform, announces that its new CEO is Jason Njoku.

Njoku was the original founder and CEO of iROKING alongside his role at iROKOtv, the world’s largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies. Njoku will now return to take overall control of iROKING artist management, all aspects of music distribution, including YouTube, iTunes and Amazon distribution, and oversee platform partnerships with the likes of Mxit and Eskimi.

Speaking on returning to a company he founded, Jason Njoku says: “What we’ve built with iROKING in its 23 month history is pretty incredible. There’s a lot of chat amongst the technorati about the potential of the African online music space – now is the time to put words into action, hence why I’m taking a more hands-on approach to growing iROKING from a solid online Nigerian music distributor into a behemoth of a pan-African music platform”.

As of 2014, there will also be a renewed focus on the monetization of Nigerian digital content, as well as greater emphasis on strategic partnerships with leading companies in the industry.

More on the story from Jason Njoku’s blog


Nope. Not even close to it. There has been a chorus of all types of strange sayings recently about the imminent demise of iROKING platform and aggregation business. But then for the first time in over a year I actually looked at the revenue numbers. Although there are a number of issues I cannot address here, there is one I most definitely can. IROKING is not dead. It is still very much alive. Revenues are my metric of business success and iROKING has recurring scalable revenue. iROKOtv had its 2nd birthday yesterday. Today I am taking the reigns of iROKING. As the CEO. My baby has found its home with its founding father. Me.

The founding

In May 2011, I founded what became iROKING. All the early pitches I did myself. I had a 2 person team of executives supporting me but all chips were with me. I remember making myself ill sitting in traffic and running around Lagos trying to sign up musicians to the digital platform of the future. iROKING. I didn’t name iROKING though that has to go to Thelma or Henry who were working with me at the time. Those were brutal times pre-Tiger funding. NollywoodLove was profitable so we had the cash flow. I got so ill in fact I had to fly back to the UK to seek medical help. So after founding a company and hiring a CEO several months later to do a job and allowing me to take a back seat, I have had little to no input for the last 18 months. It was much easier to keep the iROKING narrative and communication separate whilst building the iROKOtv brand. Now, levels have changed. I am less of a founder now and more a CEO.

But now, all things considered, iROKING needs its principal promoter, its founder, its creator to step in and reiterate why it is still arguably the most valuable digital distribution platform on the continent. I have spent the last few weeks re-engaging with the remaining members of the iROKING team and trying to understand the business we have collectively created to date. There is a new, simple strategic vision.
Building a platform

Currently, iROKING has several hundred musicians on the platform. We distribute their music across third party channels (YouTube, Dailymotion, iTunes, Spotify et al) as well as our own platforms we operate too, including m.iroking and and our Android, Asha and W8 apps. Today, the business in the last 2 years has easily paid out over $1Mn in minimum guarantees and revenue share to musicians. The business generates tens of thousands of dollars monthly for the music industry at large. We have done this by simplifying multi-platform digitisation and distribution at a scale which makes it almost free for us to do this.

Across the entire network of platforms, iROKING reaches 5Mn uniques per month. 1Mn of those are on our own platforms alone. That is actually double the reach of people than iROKOtv gets. Full Stop. The only difference is that we make huge amounts of money on iROKOtv and considerably less on iROKNIG. There are strategic and industry structural issues which determine that. But, nonetheless, I would argue with anyone that month-on-month cash flow-wise, there is no other music startup which comes close our monthly cash flow. None. . . has the full article.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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