Caller tunes: Glo, MTN pay musicians N9bn royalties

By 09:26 Fri, 17 Jul 2015 Comments



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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