Why I won’t be leaving Snapchat for Instagram Stories. Or will I?

Instagram-Stories

I am a Facebook fan. I love the platform and the thinking behind their business model. I understand the vision of the founders and believe companies like Facebook are a very important part of today’s and tomorrow’s world – in whatever way you look at it.
The world will continue to get interconnected, as we all work together to solve local and global problems, and build better lives for ourselves and the next generation.

Because Facebook has implications for our organisation, BHM, I have taken the pain to understand how the company works. I studied Google for years, even attending an FT meeting with Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg in London in 2014. Then I faced Facebook and became a self-taught expert. When the opportunity came to attend F8, Facebook’s developers conference this year, I grabbed it with both hands, even though it was days away from our own conference NEClive.

I left San Francisco convinced that Facebook could be a gift and a curse to the media, tech and advertising industry. The telcos see Mark Zuckerberg and his company as a frenemy, the media see them as enablers and enslavers, I don’t know if the ad industry sees them the way they see Google yet.

Ayeni-Adekunle-and-Facebook-Engineering-Manager-Brian-Dewey

With Facebook Engineering Manager, Brian Dewey

We’re at the cusp of something important and it is difficult for anyone to actually accurately predict what the next few years will look like. We are all at best, speculating based on what we can see from where we stand. What is certain is that there will be major losers and gainers, short term and long term. When it finally happens, we would have inadvertently created a new era where the words media, technology, advertising, public relations and computer science would mean something entirely different from what most people understand them to be today.

Facebook likely has a better idea of what’s coming, as one can tell from their recent acquisitions, priorities, products and partnerships. I loved the thinking behind snatching Oculus and Whatsapp and Instagram. I’m excited by the power of 360 videos and VR. I supported Instant Articles from day one, even though I understand the concerns of those who vehemently criticize it. There’s a lot more that Facebook is working on, most of them commendable; most of them stuff that governments and the leaders of the respective industries should have been, ideally, driving.

But what I saw yesterday after tempting my Snapchat friends with photos of my six-course dinner in Milan, left a bad taste in my mouth. I had heard earlier in the day that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook was to launch something called Instagram Stories. Smart move, I thought. Reminded me of how Instagram videos came at the point everyone was on Keek’s dick. But when I left Snapchat to catch up with IG, I was shocked to find a copycat of Snapchat right in my face: if you’re a Snapchat user, you know what tapping your camera screen twice does: it switches the camera from front to back. You know what the eye sign says: suggesting who has viewed your snap. You know how to edit your photos and input text in many colours. These basic Snapchat features were what Facebook introduced yesterday on Instagram. I don’t know if there’s a term for it in Silicon Valley. But in the media, it’s called plagiarism. It’s an illegality. A shame. It’s low and dirty and petty and unpardonable.

Google was late to the social media party and is paying dearly for it. We’ve seen what happened to Nokia and Blackberry and Yahoo and others who didn’t see the future early. So I understand Facebook’s determination not to be caught napping. I also understand they may not have broken any laws, but what’s bad is bad, no matter how much filter you use to beautify it.
Facebook has been eyeing what Google had with YouTube for years, and I recall the criticism that trailed their free-for-all approach to videos from 2014. Looking away as copyright infringements thrived on their platform, they just wanted people to post videos natively on Facebook, no matter whose. They even tweaked the algorithm to prioritize native video content over links. They tweaked the algorithm to show us more video in newsfeed. Facebook wanted a seat at the video table. They now have it.

For many years, Facebook became, for many people, the social media app where your father and grand uncle liked your photos and made snide comments on your tattoos. So millennials jumped out in droves and began cavorting with cooler platforms like Tumblr and Snapchat and even Twitter. To win the kids back, Facebook has had to do a lot of things, including Facebook Live – a product designed, in my opinion, to battle Twitter for relevance in live news, and battle Snapchat in live video.

Instagram’s Stories, launched yesterday, is the recent episode, in this battle for users’ photos, videos, time and data, and it would have been popcorn-deserving, if it were not scary. It would have been entertaining if it were not unfunny.

I’ve been told moves like this are not new in the tech industry. My response: it doesn’t make it right, especially for a company owned and run by someone with Zuckerberg’s vision.

Facebook has used new ideas, good thinking and technology to connect over 1.7 billion people in 12 years. I see a future where Facebook.com will be the home page of the internet, winning in media and tech and advertising. It’s bound to happen, whether we like it or not.

Facebook has done, and will have to do a lot to make sure this possibility is not truncated. Bullying every small Organisation to hand over their businesses or get run over is definitely not one of them.

Sadly, for now, Snapchat will have to reinvent itself or die a fast, painful death.

I’ve been invited to deliver a keynote at Pa Benson Idonije’s 80th

Pa Benson Idonije

Our agency BlackHouse Media is supporting the Benson Idonije at 80 celebrations. And I have been invited by the chief organizer Jahman Anikulapo to deliver a closing keynote on ‘Music forward: Deconstructing and reconstructing’.

I’ve read Pa Idonije for years, and even though I’ve had cause to disagree with him on occasions, concerning his views on contemporary pop music, I do have very high respect for him. His daughter is a friend of sorts, and of course, you’ll recall we gave him a NET Honours in 2015.

Three of his books will be presented, and the ceremony will provide an opportunity for his era and this era to engage in meaningful conversations about yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Pa Idonije's 80th

Idonije is Fela Kuti’s first manager and adviser, a respected radio producer and presenter, columnist for The Guardian, and grand father of Pop act Burna Boy.

I do hope you’re able to attend.

 

I’m speaking at Chris Ihidero’s Story Story next week

atg

I’m speaking, for the second year running, at Chris Ihidero’s Story Story. It’s a closed event for registered participants only, but I will try to record my presentation and share.

I’m passionate about story telling, and determined to work with those working to build capacity and platforms.

I do hope I have as much fun as last year!

atg

How 12 Million People in 12 Countries Discussed How Entertainment Can Save Nigeria’s Economy in 12 Hours

Ayeni-Adekunle-speaking-at-NECLive4

On April 20, 2016, Nigerians came together for the fourth edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive 4) to discuss how entertainment can rebuild Nigeria’s wavering economy.

#NECLive4 featured an interesting line-up of professionals not only from the entertainment industry but from all works of life to serve as panelists and moderators who gave insights from the business and creative sides of the entertainment world and how the industry can revamp the economy of Africa’s most populous country.

The 4th edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference, which held at Victoria Island, Lagos was expected to attract about 2,500 Nigerians from different parts of the country.

Between April 19 and April 22, 2016, #NEClive4 drew in over 12,000,000 people online.

Themed Entertainment As Last Hope For Africa’s Largest Economy, the recently concluded #NEClive4 event attracted 2,749 people on site on April 20.

Some of the panelists and moderators that graced the event include CEO 141 Worldwide, Olubunmi Oke, Founder Spot Studio, Sebastian Paszek, Nigerian conceptual designer, Kayode Olowu, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Tony Ojobo, Tiwa Savage, TY Bello, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Kaffy Shafau Ameh, amongst others.

Ayeni Adekunle, founder of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference delivered a welcome address Entertainment as Last Hope for Africa’s Largest Economy.

D’Banj, Banky W and Funke Akindele who were speakers at the event gave intellectual presentations titled Content as the New Crudethe Power of Music & Comedy, and the Economy of Talents respectively.

CEO Braincraft, Olatunde Falase provided an in-depth analysis of Emerging Global Business & Disruptive Models while Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe discussed Case Studies of Intervention Strategies.

In 48 hours, #NEClive4, which was a top trending topic on Twitter, gathered over 62 million impressions on Twitter and Instagram from 1,000 users across Nigeria.

Some of the brands, platforms and individuals who contributed to the #NEClive4 conversation include MTN, The Guardian, Bella Naija, The Cable, This Day, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Wofai Ifada amongst others.

Nigeria wasn’t the only country interested in NECLive 4. 11 other countries including Ghana, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Canada, Britain, Iran, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, and U.S.A joined the conference via television and livestream on social media.

The infographic below summarizes NECLive 4 in numbers.

Download the full report here.

 

‘Entertainment as last hope for Nigeria’s economy’ – My #NECLive4 Speech

Ayeni Adekunle speaking at #NECLive4

I’m happy to welcome you to the fourth Edition of Nigerian Entertainment Conference. I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for four years – with the sweat and blood of friends, team members and organizations who are committed to working with us to build the industry of our dreams.

Today as we gather here, we are at a critical period in our existence as a nation. The old issues are still around – epileptic power supply, fuel scarcity, security challenges, bad tools, poor healthcare, unemployment and underemployment, and so much more. And they’re joined by new issues that threaten to drown us. We are battling terrorism, feeling the impact of fallen global oil prices; even as youth continue to search for personal and national identities.

With all these problems and more, why should any government take a minute off and look at the creative industry? Why should we even be discussing entertainment at all when we’re trying to fix roads and kill Boko Haram and increase power supply? Why should anyone besides Ali Baba believe that entertainment business is serious business?

#NECLive4

 

Because as everyone who should know has admitted – it’s time to look at the non-oil sector if we are serious about diversifying our economy. We’ve missed at least two opportunities to diversify, in the face of dwindling income from oil. It will be a disaster if we miss this one.

So if we must look at other means, what are our immediate options? The regular suspects are taxation and agriculture. The government already plans to earn 5 Trillion Naira from taxation in 2016. We’ve seen the power of agriculture from the pre-oil boom era, we’ve seen that, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, the value of agriculture in Nigeria is over 100 billion dollars. This is projected to grow to 256 billion dollars by 2030, if that sector is properly harnessed.

Agriculture at #NECLive4

But where are the figures for entertainment? Is it possible that the private and public sectors are underestimating and ‘unlooking’ an industry that can be a top-three earner in a non-oil economy? Is it possible that the creative and entertainment industry may become the last hope for the Nigerian economy?

Here are some facts from Hollywood and Bollywood.

Bollywood-Hollywood comparison at #NECLive4

Here’s what we know about the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

Nollywood Data at #NECLIve

What could the future look like if we made the right investments and build the right systems? What should government do? What should practitioners do? What’s the responsibility of the allied sectors which today, will include telecommunications, brewing, banking, PR and advertising?

I hope everyone here today will be able to have clear answers by the time we leave here this evening.

At Nigerian Entertainment Today, we will continue to follow global best practices in helping consumers connect with the music, news, culture and entertainers they love. We will continue to provide a platform for entertainers and creators to connect with their fans and the brands that care about them. That’s why we started test running Orin.ng in 2015. Today I’m happy to announce that Orin.ng is available to all labels, musicians, DJs, artistes and promoters to upload and share their music to the world. We are giving you an opportunity to stop offering your music for free downloads on Soundcloud and Hulkshare. There are already a couple of platforms with the right technology to sell your music online. Your true fans can find them there – be it Spinlet or MTN Music Plus or Cloud 9. But if they want to listen for free, the way of FM radios, please use Orin.ng. Fans can listen, like and share their favourite songs and videos. We are committed to making sure that we build the largest community of Nigerian music fans in the world. We cannot achieve it without the labels and artistes.

Orin.ng_

I pray God will spare my life to see a day when Nigerian music will no longer be available for free download online.

Also we announce today, the launch of NETSHOP. With over 5 million active users on THENETng we discovered in 2015 that we may be the best place for those selling entertainment products to meet those looking to buy those products. Asa is having her first Nigerian solo concert in May. Where do most of her fans catch up on what’s happening with her? THENETng. Darey is planning for the fourth edition of ‘Love Like A Movie’ . Where’s the best place to get details and buy tickets to see the show? THENETng. We are blurring the lines between journalism and e-commerce, hoping to make it easier for the industry to get their products across to consumers through NETSHOP; and for consumers to access the products, events, and properties they love.

NET SHOP

What I expect is that more people will be encouraged to produce and create if they do not have to bother with how to sell. Of course there will be PR and Marketing support from our sister companies BlackHouse Media and ID Africa, for those who decide to use Orin and NETSHOP.

Finally, we are announcing today, the inauguration of an annual Readers’ Choice Awards, to select one individual worthy to be called ‘Entertainer of The Year’. It will be a big decoration we hope will encourage actors, comedians, musicians, and others, to do the best work possible, while maintaining a great relationship with the fans. ‘Entertainer’ will debut in 2017. NET Honours will also now be given out at this event.

NET-Honors

Since THENETNG debuted on November 23, 2009, we have worked tirelessly to build what we believe will become the world’s number one source of everything you need to know about Nigerian entertainment. Today, 36,000 stories, 6 billion page views, 15 million video views, 5 million users, and 77 months after, I’m happy to say we are firmly positioned to break barriers and build tomorrow.

NET Stories

NET Website

 

 

I believe, as those who know me will agree, that it is possible.

I want to thank you again for coming out. I look forward to having a great time.

Please enjoy the conversations!

Brand of #NECLive4