Dele Kadiri: The New Sound of Africa Creating a Sense of Pride for the Continent 

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Dele Kadiri is the General Manager of Africa’s largest music streaming platform, Boomplay. With years of experience in the media, his works have stood the test of time and this has given him an edge above his contemporaries. He talks to Tosin Clegg about his strides as an advertising guru, a music business executive and music in Africa

Streaming music

A lot  has happened in the way streaming music has fundamentally changed the industry, and the way audiences consume music cannot be overstated. Indeed, the younger generation of music consumers has never bought a physical copy of a recording in their lives. This has shown a different metrics in music distribution and consumption in the Nigerian music industry. On one hand, listeners have easy access to a lot of music, often for free via both legal and illicit avenues. Even paid streaming services that offer access to wide catalogs of completely authorised music are much less expensive than physical musical media ever was; a month’s subscription on music platforms like ours is the equivalent of the price of a single CD’s. Affordable and authorised streaming services have also helped to reduce the amount of piracy across the music industry by shifting the balance between risk and reward for would-be pirates. But, we are facing another pirate for digital distributions. The question is how do we tackle this?

Growth of Afrobeats in Africa

In the past few years, the young sound of Africa has managed to travel beyond boundaries: not just entertaining listeners, but creating a sense of pride for the continent. The new genres of music from Africa shine a positive light on the continent which is represented by a younger, digitally-connected generation that knows no boundaries. Afrobeats is here to stay: it originates from the heart of the challenges that face the continent and, in breaking boundaries, is uniting Africa like never before.

Afrobeats has also made inroads to the world’s largest music labels. In the past two years, Sony, Warner and Universal Music are now working in Nigeria, signing up several Afrobeat stars to publishing and distribution deals and it shows Africa is taking over the world.

We have been able to take Boomplay App to his target audience

The consumers of the content are the younger ones. In the past months, Boomplay has been in the frontline of entertainment conversations through collaborations with artistes and their events and album releases, as well as being able to go to different universities across Nigeria and to musical concerts. Also with our committed staff, we have made the growth easy. For us, keeping the winning team and making them happy is very important.

The infusion of our new media arm

The Boombuzz team is one of the major channels and platforms we use to promote artistes. Boombuzz, as the media arm of the business, is very important to us because we are able to form a deeper connection between the artiste and the audience. We are able to push both the artiste’s songs, as well as exclusive interviews so that their fans get more information about the artistes themselves because we understand the power of the media. It’s not easy, because you have to know what is trending and make sure all units are on top of their game from the content acquisition, content operation, legal, marketing and customer support

Sound production and distribution

Our songs are globally recognised yet our musicians aren’t fully benefiting from their songs. Majority of artistes still upload their content for free on various blogs. They pay the blogs to upload their content; while it should be the other way around. Most artistes just want their songs to be everywhere without knowing they could profit form downloads and streams from reputable streaming platforms.

Healthy competition keeps us on our toes

Controversy is something any business in the media and entertainment industry should expect. People would try to rope you into controversies, especially when you are excelling. They would use your brand as a means to make themselves recognised.

Passion drives all that I do

Everything I am passionate about is what I have dedicated my entire being to; be it towards business or my family.

My advice for artistes

My advice for them is to ignore music blogs and pirates that put up their music for free. They should focus more on monetising their music and content via consistent music releases on digital streaming platforms. Artistes are the content owners and their creative abilities enable this business and we recognise that. This is the reason we are giving back and supporting the artiste’s events, concerts as a way of encouraging them to be more creative.

My background

My background is deeply rooted in advertising and sales. I have over 13 years of sales and brand partnerships experience with focus on new business development. I am a lover of good music so one thing I am grateful for is having the opportunity to work with national brands on campaigns aligned with entertainment, news, sports, music and culture.

Yes, we are the biggest online download and music streaming platform in Africa so we would keep working to sustain that position. Also, we have plans to expand to Francophone countries.