• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Costly promotion mutes aspiring afrobeats artistes

Foreign labels’ strategies for signing Afrobeats stars

In Nigeria, the dreams of many up-and-coming Afrobeats artists to make it big in the music industry are being dampened by the soaring expenses of music promotion. Despite a growing number of emerging talents like Bloody Civilian, Marz BGX, and Nasboi, the financial burden associated with producing and promoting music presents a significant obstacle for these artists.

According to Todalael Kafang, a Nigerian-based music business strategist, the costs for creating Afrobeats songs can range from N100,000 to N1,000,000.

That excludes fees for renowned producers, who may charge between $2000 to $10,000 per beat. Additionally, expenses for mixing and mastering, photoshoots, visualisers, and music videos can escalate the total cost into millions of naira, rendering it unaffordable for many aspiring artists.

Read also: Grammy’s Afrobeats many firsts: New category, first live performance

George Obialeri, also known as Mr Cizzle, a talent manager, attributes the rising expenses of music promotion to the economic situation and high cost of living in Nigeria. Moreover, the digital platforms and social media channels crucial for music promotion often charge in dollars, further exacerbating the financial strain on artists.

Joseph Abiagom, President of Aristokrat Group, notes that the high cost of music promotion is not unique to Nigeria but is a global issue. With Afrobeats gaining global recognition, competition among artists and labels to top the charts has intensified, leading to excessive spending on promotional activities such as billboard placements, influencer marketing, and extensive media coverage.

From influencer endorsements to radio airplay and billboard adverts, the cost of promotion poses a significant barrier to entry for many talented artists, leaving them struggling to be heard. Even digital platforms like Spotify and YouTube Music, while providing access to independent artists, require significant investments in online ads, playlist placements, and influencer collaborations.

Read also: Afrobeats came from the streets but streets can’t buy show tickets

The escalating costs of production and marketing have compelled many independent artists to seek deals with labels that can provide the necessary funding to reach wider audiences. However, Kafang and Obialeri believe that record labels and industry stakeholders have a crucial role to play in alleviating the financial burden on emerging artists by offering support through grants, distribution deals, and inclusion in paid services.