How Nigerian musicians are making millions in profit from UK shows
There is no doubt that the Nigerian music industry is making a dent in the world with its original sound. The last decade have seen Nigerian musicians host “sold out” shows all over the world. But this didn’t just happen miraculously, Nigerian musicians have toiled hard to make this happen.
Those who paved the way like 2Face, Dbanj, P Square, among others have fought hard to make the music industry one to envy in Africa. Nigerian musicians have faced several challenges in monetization in the past. Piracy has threatened the craft but Nigerian musicians have found new ways to evolve with the advent of technology.
Suggested Read: How piracy threatens Nigeria’s entertainment industry
Old VS New Source of Income
Because of the fact that Nigerian musicians are finding it hard to monetize their craft, they have been forced to think through their money making strategies. The old way, was an artiste does a song –or an album– takes it to Alaba to market it. But with the advent of technology and the acceptance of Nigeria’s Afromusic globally, the table has changed.
A typical Nigerian musician just needs to worry about his song been played in various areas — clubs, radio stations, TV Stations, video streaming platforms– and the populace will get to embrace the song. One artiste who has been able to crack this code is Davido.
This is their primary income — shows, tours, merchandise, endorsement deals–.
The next thing is to do shows and get people to buy tickets, at least it worked in the comedy industry. Since the world is enjoying Nigerian musicians they get to do shows abroad where the economic power is better, especially the UK. In the last one year, we have seen major artistes sell out their shows in the UK.
Taking a closer look at all the shows done in the UK, one name keeps popping up as the major promoter. Junior Adeosun, CEO SMADE Entertainment has been able to create a niche for London shows. SMade, as he is fondly called, makes all the buzz(campaign) and sends fans of these artistes to buy tickets from Shoobs — an online event ticketing solution for small to mid-size entertainment event organisers.
The percentage that finally gets to the hands of these artistes is not known but it is more than enough to pay their bills back home.
How much are they really making?
The first ever female to headline her show in the UK is Yemi Alade and she used a hall that has a capacity of 800 people. The same hall will be used for Simi’s show in November but a bigger capacity that seats 4921. Simi billed her fans between £20 (₦9600) – £50 (₦24000) which is fair enough to net her millions in revenue. The world “sold out” is becoming the norm. From Wizkid to Davido to Tiwa Savage to Adekunle Gold have all sold out shows.
For example, let’s take Wizkid’s show at Royal Albert Hall, a standard ticket was sold for £32.50. Royal Albert Hall seats about 5,272 people at once. Wizkid claims it was a sold out event as well. This means that he made about ₦81 million from the event. Let’s say he shares 50% of revenue with the ticketing company, the hall and the promotion company. He will be left with at least ₦30 million in the value of foreign currency.
This looks like good business to me, no wonder everyone is trying to do a show in the UK. Wizkid also had a sold-out show at O2 Arena– a 20,000 capacity hall– in May and the ticket price was around £40. This is about ₦381 million in ticket sales and a quarter is about ₦95 million which is like the worst-case scenario in profit for Wizkid.
Is this revenue stream sustainable for Nigerian artiste?
Yes, it is, as long as Nigerian musicians can continue to do good music that everyone loves and remain true to themselves. And I know my Naija brothers, they are not going to stop especially when they know it is a major income for them. Replicating this model back home is difficult, most shows only get to sell VVIP/VIP tables to make up for the expenses doing the show in the first place. Eventually, most tables are sold on ” I know you and I want a table in front” basis, some of these guys don’t pay. The poverty level is a major factor, but we would get there soon.
Do good music = Promote it well = Do shows
The entertainment industry is an $8 billion industry and it looks like we are just scratching the surface and there is more to come for Nigerians musicians abroad than back home for now.