Music has evolved from Compact Disc (CD) to mp3 downloads (from music blogs) and now into the digital world where you get to stream and purchase your favorite songs on-demand.
During the CD era, people just walk down a little distance from their streets to purchase a compilation of all new or popular tracks put together in one disc. Sometimes these CDs have up to 50 tracks on while some others will even have up to 100 tracks — all at a cheap prices.
Most of the current Nigerian music legends got ‘popular’ through this medium especially with the help of Alaba market that produces them in bulk. Artistes like 9ice, 2face, D’banj and the likes all made name through that market before a new system was introduced which is downloading mp3 files directly on your phone from music blogs.
In Nigeria alone, it is hard to know how many free music download websites there are, but then we have popular ones like Tooxclusive, Notjustok and 360nobs who offer users free downloads of local songs which are sometimes exclusively released by local artistes on the sites.
But who would get the option of just streaming their favorite songs online — without having to create storage for them — and downloading mp3 files that requires you having space on your phone, and will still go for the latter? Literally no one!
There’s just one big BUT to that which is what we’re trying to discuss here today.
Physical music sales are going down. It’s been going down for a while because of this new ‘eye-opener’.
On-demand streaming on digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, GooglePlay, etc, is the new trend now which is gradually overshadowing other ways of getting music.
But most Nigerian artistes — especially the upcoming ones — are not making enough money from the platform because of some major factors affecting it.
ISP & LOW BROWSING RATES
Internet Speed: One of the major issue we’re facing in Nigeria as regards streaming on-demand music is the internet speed our service provides haven’t perfected just yet. In bigger countries like the US, streaming songs on digital platform is their way of discovering new talents and music everyday, and that’s because they have an uninterrupted internet service with great speed. It is really frustrating when you want to listen to a particular song and it buffs for more than a minute before it starts or continue playing.
Browsing Rates: A lot of people love music around the nation, but then they’re not privileged to listen to their favorite artistes because of the high data rates our Internet Services Providers roll out. Imagine an average Nigerian who earns as low as N30,000 a month and has many mouths to feed, do you think that kind of person would even remember to open a streaming platform where he knows he will have to pay to use? Capital NO!
If our Internet Service Provides could work towards making sure all Rural and Urban areas in the country enjoy great internet speed with low subscription rates, it will limit the frustration of music lovers who prefer streaming services to downloading large files on their phone(s).
Moreover, it will be a win win situation for all parties involved including the artistes, ISPs and the consumers (music fans). When we enjoy low subscription rates with great speed, artistes will make their money, ISPs get regular data subscriptions and the users enjoy their music without having to complain.