• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Scramble for Nigerian music distribution thickens as UnitedMasters debuts, seeks market share

Scramble for Nigerian music distribution thickens as UnitedMasters debuts, seeks market share

…opens doors to independent artistes

No doubt, the astronomical growth of the Nigerian music industry is impacting the industry positively, exposing the artistes, and creating more collaboration platforms to further their creativity.

But the development has also attracted international music distribution platforms, which are now scrambling for market share in the distribution of music content from Nigeria.

From Universal Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Boomplay, among others, these platforms are doing good business with the distribution of Nigerian music, which is sought-after by the global audience.

Read also: Asake becomes most searched musician on Google in 2023

Riding on the development, UnitedMasters, an American distribution franchise, has debuted in Nigeria. The move is a significant step towards its objective of empowering independent African music creators worldwide.

The technology platform, which empowers over 1.9 million global independent artistes to distribute their music and reach their fullest potential held a UnitedMasters Live From Lagos event on December 13, 2023 at Black Diamond Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos.

The event was put together by Steve Stoute, founder & CEO, UnitedMasters Inc., and his team.

Speaking at a media parley during the Lagos event, which was the first for UnitedMasters in Nigeria and West Africa, Steve Stoute explained that it is geared towards connecting the franchise with fans, music lovers and industry tastemakers in the Nigerian music scene.

As a key figure in UnitedMasters’ strategy to empower the next generation of independent artists in Africa and Nigeria in particular, Steve Stoute noted at the event the intention of the USA-based music distribution platform in signing up more artistes from Nigeria.

According to him, the reason is because of the incredible music talents and their sustained creative ingenuity, which is being recognised and appreciated by global music content consumers.

While UnitedMasters is walking the talk with its debut in Nigeria, Steve Stoute noted that the platform’s tripartite plan to discover, develop, and empower the next generation of African artistes goes beyond Nigeria to across the continent where good music is made.

“Our focus is not only on just the Nigerian market, we are actively seeking talents in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa as well as other African countries,” he said.

However, UnitedMasters would be offering its services to Nigerian creatives in collaboration with several brand partners such as; Tequila Don Julio, Coca Cola, Tik Tok, Snapchat and more.

For Tequila Don Julio, the partnership with UnitedMasters in the Nigerian launch is aimed at creating a new way for artistes to be heard.

As well, Coca Cola, with its long-standing success in Nigeria through their Coke Studio program, sees UnitedMasters’ entrance into Nigeria as a way to further their support of emerging artists. They feel it is important to support the launch event and will be onsite, providing Coca~Cola products and adding to the night’s activations.

At the Lagos event, the UnitedMasters team unveiled the UnitedMasters’ mobile app, which provides many benefits to artistes under the organisation’s umbrella; such as increased transparency regarding artists’ earnings through the UnitedMasters’ mobile app, where real-time streaming data will be available.

Read also: Boomplay begins music, audio content integration on Ayoba app

Moreover, independent artistes that sign up on the UnitedMasters mobile app can choose from a range of plans that offer curated services to them based on where they feel they are in their career trajectory.

The plans are broken down into three tiers; Debut, Select & Partner. The Select Plan, the most popular plan, offers a wide range of services, including 100 percent royalties retention for all users, and will be available exclusively to Nigerian users at a massively discounted price of N20,000.00 per annum.

Users will also have access to unlimited music distribution to dozens of global platforms including; Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Apple Music, Youtube, Snap, Tik Tok and the most relevant music services in Africa such as Boomplay, Audiomack, Muska, Music in Ayoba, Anghami, Joox and more. There are also some additional features like the shareable MasterLinks, customizable ArtistPages, and fan management tools, which will help independent Nigerian artists in building their audiences while driving streams. Users can access the UnitedMasters mobile app via Web, Android and iOS.

Beyond traditional distribution methods, UnitedMasters also offers their artistes access to new ways to grow their fan bases as showcased by the announcement that UnitedMasters’ partnership with the NBA, wherein the league uses music from the platform to soundtrack their social content, will expand their partnership to cover NBA Africa as well.

When it comes to brand partnerships, UnitedMasters already has a legacy of creating meaningful brand partnerships for independent artistes in different regions. The plan here is simple; this benefit will be extended to independent artistes in Nigeria as well. “Wherever UnitedMasters goes, we bring valuable brand partnerships with us. These brands don’t operate as sponsors, but as active investors in the Independent movement and the artists themselves. Brands like Don Julio and Coca Cola clearly see the benefit of aligning themselves with the artists of Nigeria, but more so believe that they can play a major role in the perpetuation of Nigerian music’s cultural impact across the globe,” Steve Stoute said.

As part of its entry into Nigeria, UnitedMasters hosted a “Live from Lagos” concert on December 14, 2023 in collaboration with Don Julio, featuring Don Julio 1942 for VIPs. Performers included; Tobe Nwigwe and Sarz and Friends.

In the coming months, Don Julio and UnitedMasters will also unveil a series of programs aimed at spotlighting independent Nigerian artists and making strategic investments in the future of Nigerian music.

With his wealth of experience in the music industry, real estate, and the advertising industry in the USA, Steve partnered with Google, Apple and Andreessen Horowitz to create UnitedMasters in 2014, the goal was to enable artists to maximise their creative and economic potential by giving them all the tools and support they would need to directly connect with their fans.

In June this year, UnitedMasters worked on collaborative efforts with music producer Sarz and Mavin Records, leading to DJ Big N’s single “How Many Times” featuring Ayra Starr and Oxlade.

Read also: Spotify sees 284% surge in local music consumption in 2023

It would also be recalled that in a panel discussion with Davido at the UnitedMasters SelectCon 005, which held at Terminal 5 in New York City in October, Steve Stoute made a groundbreaking announcement of UnitedMasters’ intention to begin offering their services directly to talents in Nigeria by the end of the year.