On its face, it might appear that Obi Asika and the Storm Record/360 brand is no longer relevant. However, if you expand your thinking and you are a keen observer like I am, then you should notice the quiet storm and moves this executive has been making.
To date, Obi is usually at the center of any important deals that third parties are discussing about Africa, specifically Nigeria’s music market. We saw him, through his partnership with Spinlet and Ngozi Odita of Society HAE, work out a deal to have both himself and his artists represented at the just concluded SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. On the ground in Nigeria, we have seen him close endorsement deals for his artists, broker relationships with YouTube Nigeria/Google, negotiate and secure business relationships with Cross River State for media/tv production of the Calabar Christmas festival, among many moves he has made and continues to make.
He is always an interesting person for me to observe. Below is a recent interview Obi gave Ventures Africa and it is again interesting to note what he says about where he believes the industry is headed. I share similar sentiments some of which I have discussed and anticipate discussing in future with you all, more extensively.
OBI ASIKA VENTURES AFRICA INTERVIEW
“In Africa, the convergence of content, culture and technology will provide the present and future roadmap for the strategic development of several industries… one of the most important will be the media and entertainment industries” – Obi Asika, Chairman and CEO Storm360
VENTURES AFRICA – Having worked in Banking, Oil and Gas, Procurement and in Business Support Services sectors, Obi Asika, CEO of Storm360, a Nigerian entertainment company with interests in “television, music, film, new media or experiential formats”, presently has a firm grip on the entertainment sector and its continual, vertical push. In Mr Asika’s words, “I am interested in companies who are interested in Nigeria, there are significant obstacles but in essence this translates to significant opportunities, there are few places in the world where the spirit of entrepreneurship is as alive as here in Nigeria.”
VENTURES AFRICA caught up with this Nigerian entertainment mogul and he had this to say:
Do you expect the mobile platform to have a profound effect on the African music business in the coming year? What are some of the impact you foresee and what should key players in the entertainment industry put in place?
Obi: Mobile is already having a huge impact and i believe the advent of more platforms will mean more opportunity for talents, labels, managers, investors, we are seeing a digital marketplace evolve and in Nigeria the consumption level is approaching a U$D100m per annum across all the operators with MTN being in the lead by some distance. Therefore the answer is yes and the issue that confronts us is to negotiate a more equitable revenue share between the MNO’s and the content providers.
Do you think audio and video services on the mobile platform would be of more advantage of the players in the entertainment sector? How acceptable and successful do you think it would be in the society?
Obi: This is all about access and opportunity, as the last mile connections and investments from the likes of MTN and the arrival of more submarine cables (WACS) to complement Main one and Glo One, what this should lead to is more options for providers, a situation which would trickle down to the man on the street in terms of speed of connectivity and access. The mobile is already accepted and is already the primary or first screen for young Africans so with potentially 1 billion phones in the hands of Africans over the coming years then the opportunity is exponential.
Share some insight on the brand Storm360: with all the current innovations, what is its place in the entertainment sector?
Obi: We have always been pioneers, from music to fashion, from digital to live events, from marketing to youth markets, Storm has always been an innovative brand, our core lies in the aspirations of our urban massive, with a youthful outlook on life and our demographic we hope to create more brands for them, at this time we are working hard to maintain our relevance and to be part of the next push which is for monetisation of the content we are all creating. . .”
Ventures Africa has the full story.