The past few months in the music industry had been very rewarding for some artistes in Nigeria and for others I think it has been a harrowing experience judging from their finances and living conditions.

Over the past few years, the old-fashioned way of making money in the business was selling recorded albums, but this has changed over time and artistes cannot boastfully say they make money of album sales on cds. We know some artistes like PSquare and Wizkid must have raked in a lot of money from cd sales, we saw it all over the streets, street corner shops, hawkers in traffic jams.

One need’s to wonder why the artistes in Nigeria are not making a lot of money (Except for a few like psquare, dbanj, wizkid , iyanya etc)...

Hence we need to start looking at artistes in Nigeria increasing their revenue streams. We know the primary source of income for artistes in Nigeria to be performance fees from concerts and events. Low cd sales should not deter an artiste from earning a decent source of income.

Music Publishing
Music publishing is one topic that needs constant seminars , trainings and webinars for Nigerian artistes because we still have many of them who don’t understand how it works and even have not tried to understand that part of music business, what is their minds right now is perform at shows and hopefully get endorsements and be fulfilled. Did you know tuface idibia made money off phat girls movie because his song “African Queen” was used in the movie.

Artistes can make money through music publishing , so if a movie producer uses your song or excepts from your song they will pay for it, well I know some people are surprised because we watch nollywood movies and we hear many songs , so you thinking many artistes are getting paid in Naija that is not true.

A song has two copyrights (1) the musical composition which includes notes and lyrics and (2) sound recording which is the performance of a musical composition. Songwriters , composers and publishers get revenue from licensed uses of musical compositions, while performers , sound recording copyright owners(record labels mostly) get revenue from licensed uses of sound recordings.

I will treat music publishing in detail later in a separate issue, that is what we have been discussing in voice out magazine, online version at but we will be having our first print version in a few weeks.

Fashion Lines
We can’t say precisely how much artistes are making in Nigeria from owning fashion lines, but we would do an extensive research and reveal in subsequent editions , we know sasha has a fashion label am not sure what the name is right now I think eclectic , terry tha rapman has BANS (boys are not smiling) and a few others. If an artiste decides to do t-shirts then he should be able to play with words and designs or recruit experienced hands.

The brand name should be well promoted in order to make it popular and gain prominence , lets look at BOYS ARE NOT SMILING (BANS)brand , Terry tha rapman has shot music videos showing his t-shirt line as a brand.

Many artistes in the US had started a clothing line and dumped it along the way when they had issues with the factory producing the clothes , some had issues with the other investors or partners , some had issues with quality control , some had issues with their financial consultant , so we need to be very careful before going into any fashion line , some opportunists take advantage of artistes , they paint a picture that makes the artiste to invest so much money in a business they have no clue about.

T-Shirts and Merchandising
Are you wondering why I have this as a separate revenue stream ?, you probably must have thought it should have come under the fashion lines , t-shirts and merchandising might not necessarily mean a fashion line because as an artiste you might just want to have your t-shirts made to push your brand like BOYS ARE NOT SMILING , #ONDUN , FILE BE , KOSOSHI , BOTTOM BELLE , we know those who own or use these lines and words as ad libs , they can make a lot of money from this words and lines listed above.

Licensing involves the transfer of copyrights, in whole or in part, exclusively or non-exclusively, from one entity to another, in exchange for some sort of benefit; usually money. Licensing is not a concept exclusive to music; it is very common in any industry where intellectual property is involved.

Licensing is a topic that needs to be adequately catered for , a few paragraphs would not cut , hence the need for a separate edition to be used for this.

Last year beyonce signed a $50 million pepsi deal , we must have heard of the nicki minaj pepsi deal as well, and so many numerous deals , same applies in Nigeria , we have the GLO ambassadors , MTN ambassadors , Technological companies paying endorsement fees to artistes and so many companies adopting this strategy.

P-square , dbanj are one of the top earners in Nigeria endorsing brands , and as an artiste you can endorse multiple brands , you could be an ambassador for a network(GSM) operator , a beer brand , a laptop brand, real estate firm etc.

Do you know you can make money from youtube
Money can be made from youtube , do you have a lot of video content , do you even have a youtube channel that fans can subscribe to , if a fan must subscribe to your channel you must be ready to provide juicy content regularly.

How do I get endorsed in NIGERIA
I was opportune to be with some upcoming artistes and comedians lately at an event, and the upcoming acts were saying they wanted to be listed as an A-list artiste so that they could be selected as a brand ambassador and get paid big bucks. I must say here that not all artistes with a hit song will be called to come for discussions that will lead to negotiations for endorsement.

Many varying factors are used as yardstick picking an ambassador, as an artiste if you have to seek for endorsement deals your genre and style of music counts , the artiste has to be aesthetically appealing, your songs popularity , how frequent you perform , your stage presence and performances , your audience demographics.

Did you all see the way dbanj got kanye west’s attention , we have these littered all over the web , that’s where I saw that but I cant say any of that here because am not sure if that was how it happened only dbanj can confirm that, so I hope to interview him someday and confirm that.

Be careful of the legal related to endorsement deals , a contract is signed and you must abide by the terms and conditions in the contract, multiple sponsorship deals are available but you need to be careful , you can only do one beverage , one clothing line , one phone manufacturer company , one phone network company , one instrument/equipment maker etc. Multiple deals mean more money but be careful they don’t clash and dates of events don’t clash too. Don’t sign too many deals and be like a rickety car in Nigeria with about 6 churches stickers that you cant place the owner of the car anymore.

Am just going to give you a few tips on how to get endorsed.
1. Do an extensive search for brands and companies who support music or would support your brand.

2. Know companies who are looking for artistes like you, or your kind of songs.

3. What are you bringing to the table.

4. Watch what you say on the table.

5. Do not get mixed up with so many brands that will lead to lack of focus.

© 2013 @naijabloke. All rights reserved. @naijabloke is the Publisher of 
Voice Out Magazine and Lead Strategist, Global Tab Company.

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