Over the last few years there have been intense discussion about the future of entertainment in Nigeria, especially for musicians for whom traditional music publishing yields minimal revenue and touring is not an option, thanks to the terrible road infrastructure and the insecurity that exists in Nigeria. Some people have suggested that the only real solution is a subscription based online concert model, where Nigerian fans can engage with properly produced music from the comfort of their homes for a token. This model is already in practice in tech savvy countries like South Korea, Japan and China.
The idea hasn’t really taken hold here because of the argument that thanks to the current prices of data and smart devices in Nigeria, anything that requires Nigerians to pay for a subscription and then use large amounts of their own data to consume the entertainment they are subscribed to will fail. And as at 2019, there was as yet, no major stimulus to force anyone to actually attempt that experiment.
Enter stage left, Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus, which began in China and has spread around the world has forced millions of Nigerians to self quarantine in their homes. No access to physical entertainment in the form of concerts or beer parlours, just their mobile phones, tablets and smart tvs. In response we have seen many people gravitate towards the live engagement features on their social media platforms. There are at least 3 people doing collaborative lives on Instagram at any point in time, Tik-tok and Triller challenges have exploded and celebrities are holding Q&A’s and book readings via Periscope. Its a digital deluge out there.
The lockdown is also giving us our first online concert experiment. 2face Idibia, the ambassador for Trophy beer and performance innovator had to cancel his concert slated for the 28th of March. In its place he has just announced that Trophy beer is taking his concert online with a livestream on Youtube and Instagram live. It will be interesting to see what the numbers are like considering American DJ DNice recently hit 1 million viewers on his Instalive jam session.
Will social media finally revolutionize the Nigerian concert revenue model. We’ll have to wait and see.