How The Nigerian Music Industry Works.

In this article, we shall answer the question often asked by upcoming artists, how does the Nigerian music industry work? and after reading you will really get to understand how the Nigerian music industry works.

You might have had a microscopic view of the Nigerian music industry, or probably think it only starts and ends with the artists who are making waves already.

But after reading this article, you are definitely going to have a proper view of the Nigerian music industry.

I am not writing from assumptions, rather, I am gathering the data I have; based on my working directly in the industry, formerly as a performing artist; and currently as a music advisor and promoter.

Without much ado, let’s get into this article, so you can immediately feed your curiosity about how the Nigerian music industry works.

How Does The Nigerian Music Industry Work?

The Nigerian music industry works through segmented partnerships between artists on the music creation side and corporations like record labels, distributors, marketers, promoters, etc. on the business side.

The Nigerian music industry is therefore but a unified term that connects all who work cohesively to make music available to the listening public.

Though some confuse the term with just thinking the Nigerian music industry is all about the artists who are making waves; probably because it is these artists whom we see and celebrate, not knowing there are others behind the scene who work tirelessly to present the artists as we see to us.

Without much ado, let’s try to deal with at least 7 of the bodies that make up the Nigerian music industry, and with this knowledge, you will therefore understand how the Nigerian music industry works.

They are:

  1. The artist.
  2. Record labels.
  3. Artist management.
  4. Digital distributors/record stores.
  5. Music publishers.
  6. Music promoters
  7. Radio/TV stations.
  8. Fans.

1. The artist.

Without the artist, the will never be a Nigerian music industry. And as we observed earlier, this is the person at the forefront, the only one we see and celebrate.

The artist is the overall creator, or probably the one who delivers the content directly to the public.

Even though there is a songwriter in the background doing the composition for the artist, all the credit is going to be directed at the artist because he is the one we can relate to at any given time.

An artist might be singing the life story of someone else. That is to say, what transpired in the life of another.

But because he is the one singing it, everyone is going to relate to; him and perhaps take pity or praise him for the outcome of the decision or action.

Especially if this is what is ongoing in the life of the listener.

You will never be wrong to consider the artist the music industry itself; because he’s the brand and force to be reckoned with.

If the artist refuses to or messes up his performance; the other bodies are going to suffer the loss and termination the most.

2. Record labels.

The duty of the record label is to oversee the production and marketing of the artist’s content.

Often times the artist is not going to be financially sound; and so will depend on the record label to manufacture and make the music available to the general public.

But one thing we have to note about record labels is that they will always hope and fight for a bigger percentage of the return on investment.

So what they do when they find the artist is to advance a fee for his welfare; and this fee is going to be recouped when the money starts to flow in from the artist’s record sales, concerts, selling of merchandise, etc.

it is worth mentioning here that record labels are not that easy to fall into working with an artist; they have to ensure the artist is going to be the kind that will bring a return on their investment.

3. Artist management.

The artist is not expected to deal with people directly, and for that reason, he must have management working on his behalf.

It is the duty of the artist manager to go out there and source for shows, and endorsements and work extra hard to make his artist stay relevant in the music industry as he should.

But then, the music manager is not going to do this for anything; as there is definitely going to be a cut on the percentage of the artist’s income to the manager.

4. Digital distributors/record stores.

Before the advent of the internet, music distribution was generally done by music marketers in their record stores.

Even though this act is still in b vogue; the advent of the internet has also brought a new form of music distribution known as digital streaming.

The process involves submitting your music, via an aggregator; which will make it available in online digital stores for those who love the music to stream and download.

5. Music publishers.

The duty of music publishers is to collect royalties for an artist wherever his music is being played.

Once an artist submits their music to a music publishing platform or network, there will be a copyright attached to the song; so that, if anyone is using it for commercial purposes, the income generated will be retrieved from the artist.

6. Music promoters.

These are the ones who make it a point of duty to expose the artist and his music.

There are various ways they incorporate to do so, both online and offline.

Some of them handle the work of making sure the artist’s music is everywhere; while others oversee the booking of shows for the artist.

Whatever may be the case, the target of a music promoter is to ensure the artist and his music are well known by people.

7. Radio/TV stations.

The radio and TV stations are a part of the Nigerian music industry because they all help to play the artist’s music.

Even though some people think that this institution is gradually going down because of the internet, to me I believe the radio and TV stations still continue to play the role of exposing an artist.

For that reason, the upcoming artists should, while promoting their music on the internet; also make sure their music is being played on radio and TV stations.

The only problem with this institution ever since is that they do not help to collect royalties for the artist.

In fact, they continue to use the artist’s music for commercial purposes, but make no moves to help the artist earn from it.

But even with that, these institutions have been one of the avenues that help the music industry to thrive.

8. Fans.

Without fans, there would definitely be no artists.

These are the consumers of the musical content made by the artist. They are to the artist what a customer is to business.

Aside from consuming the artist’s music, they also help to promote the artist by sharing his music with their friends, family members, and followers.

They also turn up for shows performed by the artist to support and back him up.

Every artist that wants to become successful and get big in the Nigerian music industry must have a dedicated fanbase.