Introducing the official Chart Of Searches, Visits And Trends From Nigerian Entertainment Today

theNETng 2015 Report

Starting December 31, 2015, we reveal the annual report on searches, trends and views from the world’s leading website on Nigerian entertainment, thenet.ng. The report, available for download on our website, is our close-to-scientific approach to identifying which people, events, places and things that shaped the year.

Our website, thenet.ng has been visited nearly 50 million times since December 2014, with our most popular subjects being Wizkid, Davido and Maheeda. For example, Nigerian international pop star Wizkid is the most searched male artiste for 2015 while Mavin singer Tiwa Savage is most searched female.

Nollywood stars, Jim Iyke and Tonto Dikeh topped the list of popular actors and actresses for 2015, respectively. Difficult to believe, but Maheeda is, according to analysed NET data from Google and WordPress, more popular than Linda Ikeji and Don Jazzy.

This year alone, we scored over 6 million video views on Facebook and YouTube combined, published almost 20 thousand stories, and recorded 29% growth in our traffic. We are effectively, according from data by Alexa, the 6th most popular entertainment website in Nigeria.

Most of our coverage are determined by people and issues we believe deserve attention. But we also create and curate based on our visitors desires, and these visitor analytics, will play a part in determining how we prioritize in the coming years.

It should also guide advertisers and subjects on how to rate or rank, especially for business purposes. Also important to note, the apparently higher engagement rates on Instagram and Facebook, compared to Twitter and YouTube, and the fact that the majority or readers obviously prefer soft news to hard, industry news.

Click Here to see report.

Most searched musicians on theNETng

Most searched actor:actress

Popular Actors and Actresses on theNETng

Most Popular people on theNETng

Most Read Stories on THENETng

Most watched videos on theNETng

Most popular couples

Most Popular Events

Most popular comedians

Most searched comedian on theNETng

Most searched musicians on theNETng

Most popular Browsers on theNETng

theNETng About us

 

 

 

 

Surprise visit by City People publisher Seye Kehinde

Dr Seye Kehinde with Ayeni Adekunle

Dr. Seye Kehinde, publisher of City People stopped by BHM this morning.

Dr Seye Kehinde with Ayeni Adekunle

With Publisher, City People Magazine, Dr. Seye Kehinde

Of course all we talked about was the past, present and future of the media industry in Nigeria

Dr. Seye Kehinde at BHM with Ayeni Adekunle
He said he came to interview me. But I ended up asking all the questions and picking every part of his brain.

Publisher of City People, Seye Kehinde With Ayeni Adekunle

City People is one of the most successful celebrity magazines in Nigeria. Now in its 19th year, SK and his team are now plotting a future in an industry that’s increasingly under the influence of bloggers and social media influencers.

I’ll be glad to see Nigerian brands face the digital challenge and not only survive, but use the advantage technology provides to enter new markets and – as we say at BHM – ‘go global’.

You see, to survive in this business, you have to ‘see’ tomorrow.

Publisher of City People, Dr Seye Kehinde with Ayeni Adekunle

 

Dr Seye Kehinde leaving BHM after his interview

Why NET Is No Longer A Newspaper Company

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Today, I confirm what many have suspected: the weekly print edition of Nigerian Entertainment Today will no longer be available.

Yes, we are stopping the 16-page newspaper we debuted on April 22, 2010 after 216 editions.

I’m a print man. I worked for newspapers and magazines, gathering bylines from Hip-Hop World Magazine (now also out of print) to Encomium, The Guardian, THISDAY, The Africa Report, The Punch and more.

I love the look and smell of print. I’m still a regular collector of the FT, WSJ and The Times.

Sadly, there’s a narrow future for the print business all over the world.  The situation here in Nigeria is made more scary, because of poor distribution infrastructure, media agencies’ chronic debts, and increasing availability of a faster alternative: everyone now can potentially access news on the go, on their phones or laptops.

In January 2014, disturbed by the circulation and advertising trend I’ve monitored over the past two years, I asked our editorial board for permission to shut down the newspaper and focus on our digital assets (at the time, we only owned thenet.ng). The board convinced me it didn’t make sense to stop.
Part of our differentiation, they unanimously argued, was that we have a popular and credible print asset. People don’t see us as a blog. We can compete with the Big 5. We can attract partnerships and advertising. We can embrace training and conferences and classifieds.

We already started Nigeria Entertainment Conference (NECLive) in 2013 to resounding success. I was convinced our investments should lie in such properties, and other digital assets, not in a weekly paper that’s clearly not scalable.

On August 5, 2015 I wrote the board again, hoping to start another conversation about shutting down the weekly print newspaper.  Advertising revenue was nothing to write home about, agencies were owing for up to two years, sales revenue continued to dwindle, even after we doubled cover price. The paper was everywhere. But the figures didn’t look good.

Nearly everyone wrote back, agreeing it was time to nail the coffin.


Before my August pitch, we had already launched our human-interest site newsroom.ng, we had been test running our music site orin.ng for four months, we had seen our lifestyle platform star.ng off to a good start. Our TV platform, which launched in March had already pushed out 1000 videos and recorded over 2 million views on Youtube and Facebook. The team didn’t need any further convincing that our model needed this adjustment; that the future of our business can be guaranteed only by our investment in visual content, better story telling and a pool of digital assets that can meet the needs of those we care about.

How do they want the content? Why do they want it? Where do they want it? When? What exactly do they want?

I was a young boy around 1996-1997 when I first dreamt of publishing a newspaper.  When in 2005 I started shopping for financiers to start an entertainment newspaper, my belief was that it’s possible to do a very good paper Nigerians cannot do without. A paper that will reach millions daily and redefine what people consider entertainment or celebrity journalism.

Shame we did not come close to doing a daily, not to talk of having a paper that reached millions.
On the best days, we had circulation reaching 7,000 to 10,000. Most weeks, we could barely sell 3,000 copies.

Meanwhile, our website thenet.ng continued to show promise, despite a 2013 hacking and eventual domain loss that set us back remarkably.  Our visitors (especially returning ones) and pageviews have quadrupled over the past year alone. Through our website and social assets (FB, IG and Twitter) we were reaching more people daily than the paper could in 10 editions. Six month figures for April – September 2015 shows thenet.ng reached over 50 million users on the website, FB, IG, Youtube and Twitter. We’ve seen revenue growth surpass 300% in the past year alone.

Then someone told me: Perhaps it’s time you redefine ‘newspaper’ and take it that your dream of having a medium that’ll reach millions of Nigerians daily is already being accomplished?

Then the truth hit me. Although in the past year alone, the likes of The News, PM News, Entertainment Express, Sunday Express, Y!, and more have gone off print, most of them continue to have heavy influence online. The Express titles and PM News in particular have shown, with the rapid growth of their websites, that it was a wise, decision to shed off excess weight.

At a time when journalists are no longer influencing readers the way bloggers are, when there are over 70 million Nigerians on the internet and over 18 million of them actively using FB, Twitter and IG combined; when the language of news has moved from just text, to include memes, audio visuals, skits, info graphics, GIFs, and all, the right thing for us to do is to understand that today’s newspapers and magazines are no longer being read in news print. They are being consumed on mobile phones, on tablets, and on computers. Being ‘read’ on screens by an involved generation that wants to, according to The Economist, curate, create, and consume.

This understanding (and of course, that of the board) is why we have focused all investments this year on assets like Newsroom, Orin, Star, and thenet.ng. It’s why we are looking into television and biographies and e-commerce.

It is why we no longer call ourselves a newspaper company. To be sure: we will continue to dabble into print, as you’ve seen with the NET Book Series and the presentation, yesterday, of ‘A Very Good Bad Guy: The Story of Innocent 2face Idibia’. There’ll be occasional special publications: for example, our Encyclopedia of Nigerian Entertainment, which is already in the works.

Also good to note, that we’re not downsizing. In fact we are currently looking for a news editor, a comedy writer, cartoonist and a couple of developers.

The future looks good, interesting, in many ways you can’t imagine.

May we live in interesting times!…

#PRisdead: Setting a foundation for the #RiseofPR

PR Is Dead

I agree that PR is dead…

But death is not always a bad thing. At times it gives us an opportunity to reflect, re-invent… a second chance to do this right.

That’s why we invited stakeholders to BHM Group on October 6, 2015 to discuss the life and times of PR.

It wasn’t just to mourn the #DeathofPublicRelations, but a time of reflection, a time to set a road map for not just the #RiseofPR, but also the ‘Future of PR‘.

The conversation continues HERE

 Yomi Badejo Okusanya

Welcoming My Big brother Yomi Badejo Okusanya

CEO, CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo Okusanya addressing guests

CEO, CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo Okusanya addressing guests

Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager NIgerian Breweries, Edem Vindah and APRA Coordinator, Kayode Yeku

Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager Nigerian Breweries, Edem Vindah and APRA Coordinator, Kayode Yeku

CEO, CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo Okusanya with CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko

Funsho Arogundade, Y.B.O with Steve Babaeko

Rendering a speech on 'War Against Public Relations'

Rendering a speech on ‘War Against Public Relations’

CEO, BHM Group, Ayeni Adekunle with CEO, CMC Connect,  Yomi Badejo Okusanya &  CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko

With Y.B.O & Steve Babaeko

Nseobong Okon-Ekong with Steve Babaeko

Deputy Editor, ThisDay, Nseobong Okon-Ekong with CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko

With Yomi Badejo Okusanya, Steve Babaeko & Tosin Ajibade

With Yomi Badejo Okusanya, Steve Babaeko & Tosin Ajibade

PR Is Dead Service of Songs

With Y.B.O, Steve Babaeko & Kayode Yeku

With Staff of CMC Connect

With the ladies from CMC Connect

With YBO, Steve Babaeko, Kayode Yeku & Bolaji Akerele

PR Is Dead Service Of Songs

With Yomi Badejo Okusanya & Tosin Ajibade

Tosin Ajibade With Yomi Badejo Okusanya

Tosin Ajibade With Yomi Badejo Okusanya

Anita Aiyudu (@anitaaiyudu), Lateefah Adesanya (@that1960chick) and Tosin Ajibade (@olorisupergal)

(L-R) Anita Aiyudu (@anitaaiyudu), Lateefah Adesanya (@that1960chick) and Tosin Ajibade (@olorisupergal)

Editor, Brand Crunch, Lekan Babatunde (L) and Corporate Communications Consultant Henry Ekechukwu (R)

Editor, Brand Crunch, Lekan Babatunde (L) and Corporate Communications Consultant Henry Ekechukwu (R)

(L-R) Corporate Communications Consultant Henry Ekechukwu, Chairman of SabiNews, Niran Adedokun; CEO, BHM Group, Ayeni Adekunle; CEO CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo Okusanya; CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko & Managing Partner SabiNews, Toni Kan

(L-R) With Corporate Communications Consultant Henry Ekechukwu, Chairman of SabiNews, Niran Adedokun; CEO CMC Connect, Yomi Badejo Okusanya; Managing Editor SabiNews, Peju Akande; CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko & Managing Partner SabiNews, Toni Kan

Lateefah Adesanya, Nseobong Okon-Ekong & Tosin Ajibade

(L-R) Lateefah Adesanya, Nseobong Okon-Ekong & Tosin Ajibade

PR Is DeadPR Is Dead Service of Songs

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Now employing 18,000 people, Biodun Shobanjo couldn’t get N10m loan 28 years ago

Biodun Shobanjo pictured at Civic Centre in Lagos, during MTV Base's real talk where he was a panelist.

‘Baba Niyen’

‘That’s the godfather’

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya couldn’t stop gushing after seeing a portrait of Biodun Shobanjo while descending the stairs at BHM last week.

Nigerian pop icon 2face Idibia poses in front of BHM's 'wall of inspiration', during a visit to the Lagos agency ahead of his 40th birthday celebrations, September.

Nigerian pop icon 2face Idibia poses in front of BHM’s ‘wall of inspiration’, during a visit to our agency ahead of his 40th birthday celebrations, September. Shobanjo’s portrait is seen below his left arm.

Shobanjo, Nigerian advertising legend and chairman of Troyka Holdings is one of the many great men our bandits are mandated to study and emulate. As a reminder, we have their portraits at the entrance of one of the busiest places in our building – The BHM Lounge.

There’s Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs and Mahatma Ghandi. There’s Jay Z and Wole Soyinka and Gani Fawehinmi. There’s Edelman and Marley and Mandela.

But it was Shobanjo that caught YBO’s attention as I saw him off on Tuesday.

I’ve never met Shobanjo personally, but I’ve encountered him twice. The first time, he was on a discussion panel at MTV Base Real Talk, in Lagos. I remember Mo Abudu moderated the panel, with my friend Kelvin Orifa of MTN also among discussants.

Biodun Shobanjo pictured at Civic Centre in Lagos, during MTV Base's real talk where he was a panelist.

Biodun Shobanjo pictured at Civic Centre in Lagos, during MTV Base’s real talk where he was a panelist.

But it was the second encounter that came to mind as YBO sang his praise last week. I was at the back of the hall on June 19 2015, in company of our finance head Oyindamola as he gave a keynote during the annual Yes! Magazine Anniversary Lecture Series.

And this man, whose insight gave Nigeria an agency that can rub shoulders with any other from anywhere in the world, stood there, talking about not being able to secure a bank loan some 28 years ago.

We all know the story of Insight. We are familiar with Shobanjo’s history and exploits. But prior to that moment, no one had put it to me in such simple details. No one had broken it down the way he did himself. It’s the kind of moment I wish I captured in video.

28 years ago I was chasing the banks to get a N10million loan. We were trying to raise money to buy different things, including three Volkswagen cars for our senior staff. Of course no bank gave us the money.’

Each of the cars was N3k at the time.

‘Now, 28 years later, we are being offered N2 billion credit line’, he told the packed hall.

Shobanjo (who’s now 71 by the way) said many things at the Yes! Lecture, as you’ll find HERE.

But my takeaway is simple: I’ve visited Insight at least twice in the past one month. I have an idea of the organisation’s exploits and Shobanjo’s standing, in spite of all the tsunami that’s sweeping many in that sector away.

I’m fascinated by how his 11 companies are spread across various industries, from real estate to public relations and security. Stunned by how Troyka is employing 18,000 people. Eighteen thousand!

I know many young people who want what he has. I know many who are dreaming big and hoping for fortune.

I know many who have only spent five years but are already wondering why it’s not happened yet.

Just look at where Shobanjo is coming from. Ask around about all the lost pitches and bad deals and wasted accounts. Ask about all the ‘NOs’ he’s received on the way here. Ask about all the headaches and heartaches and nightmares.

Then ask yourself: what are you doing today that can prepare you to become bigger than Shobanjo tomorrow?

What are you doing today that can make people who have never met you decorate their office with your portrait?

What are you doing right now that can make people see your portrait someday and go on and on about your greatness?

YBO and Steve Babaeko joined many others for the #PRisdead event at BHM last week.

YBO and Steve Babaeko joined many others for the #PRisdead event at BHM last week.

Let me know the answers!

 

MEANWHILE: Did you read this? WHY YOU MUST NEVER TAKE ACCESS FOR GRANTED

PR Is Dead

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It’s 2015.

It’s July 9, and almost 50 workers at BlackHouse Media, a public relations agency in Lagos, Nigeria are out of patience waiting for June salaries.

A week earlier, the finance team sent a mail to all staff, explaining the delay and promising payment in one week. It’s the first time in many years that the eight year old agency is failing to pay salaries on time.

BlackHouse Media, a member of BHM Group, is by Nigerian definitions a successful agency. It works for two multi-nationals, including the country’s biggest brewer; it works for media giants and has a digital advantage over every competitor in the market. In 2014, the company launched Nigeria’s first PR application, and recorded over 1 billion social media impressions for client campaigns. One year later, it launched its own digital agency, ID Africa.

BHM Group Staff

BHM Group

BlackHouse Media is not struggling. But while staff salaries were only delayed for one week in June (after a cash flow hitch), the same cannot be said for a lot of other agencies in its category.

According to a 2015 survey, only a handful of public relations agencies in Nigeria are able to pay staff and contractors as at when due. A lot of old and new generation agencies are struggling to make ends meet in a market when creative agencies, digital marketing companies and media independents are making a kill.

Why is this so?

Many in the industry believe it is because agencies cannot charge much. Only a few get good budgets and are on retainers.
As a result, only few can keep great talent. The flight from PR into advertising or client side is at an all time high; most of the agencies surveyed have lost senior consultants in the past year.

Only few can do great work.

PR is rarely in the room when management is planning or when the government is strategizing. When we do get called, it is often for traditional media relations or to ‘manage’ press events.

PR Is Dead

Clients complain they do not get value at the level of strategy; that they do not get help navigating social media; that they do not see creativity and innovation, especially in storytelling and community management.

Agencies lament on the frustration in not being properly compensated; not having access to senior management. They complain about phony pitches, poaching and government’s failure at regulation.

Nigeria’s federal government continues to engage services of quacks for public relations roles even as many public and private organizations regularly engage unregistered foreign agencies to do PR work in Nigeria.

Many of the so-called big agencies cannot pay competitive wages, and in recent times, several have owed up to three months’ pay.

Pundits say creative and media agencies are not immune to these problems. Reports say only a handful of agencies in that segment are running profitably.

The difference? You can identify the big media accounts based on spend. You can understand why some agencies are getting lucrative creative briefs while others are idle. There are more than a few media, events and creative agencies turning over billions of Naira annually from one-offs, commissions or retainer works. There is, at this moment, none in PR.

BHM Media & Intelligence predicts that more agencies will see revenues dwindle if client trust is not restored, if the industry is not able to re- attract super talents. And these will only happen if the practice is able to resurrect.

Yes, PR is dead.

What exactly do we bring to the table that clients and their publics cannot do without? The current system of press releases, buzz words and other fluff?

PR Statistics

Nigeria has a population estimated at about 200 million. Most of these are young people spread round rural, semi-urban and urban areas.

As at March 2015, there was an estimate of 195 million active mobile phones in Nigeria with GSM subscriber base of 144,486,786. Nigeria has the highest Internet penetration rate in Africa with an annual growth of about 4 million.

ID Africa Stats

Our country has over 7 million people on Facebook and is considered one of the top five African countries with the most Twitter activityAlso, the adoption of other platforms like WeChat, Whatsapp and Instagram is growing rapidly.

Newspaper circulation will predictably continue to drop. Some of the country’s biggest titles have cut print runs consistently; several have shut down presses while others have completely gone off the stands. In a country where media relations is a core function for most PR professionals, how will this impact on our work?

More consumers are spending more time on their phones than in front of the TV. Media platforms are rapidly redefining themselves and aligning with consumer habits.

Brands are using storytelling and content marketing to engage their consumers. Many consumers are becoming content creators and publishers in their own rights – be it through their Facebook status updates or by expressing strong opinions on Twitter. Some of the biggest media and influencer jobs of the past two years in terms of income and impact have been by individuals on social media; individuals who may never have been considered ‘media’ only a few years ago. Some of them are so powerful that the Nigerian government has nicknamed them ‘cabal’.

But where are the PR people?

What do these figures mean?

It is time we shamed those who believe “PR will never take its long-coveted seat at the boardroom table, where it will be recognized as an essential component of strategic business rather than a bolt-on” (Phillip 2015, 11).

Inside Nigeria’s PR Industry of Brown Envelopes, Press Releases and Quacks

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Honoraria. Flava. Keske. T-fare. Brown Envelope.

These are just some of the code names by which cash exchange for editorial coverage is known in Nigeria.

In a country where there are over 50 newspapers and magazines on the newsstands, hundreds of radio and TV stations, and an ocean of blogs and websites, it is no surprise that the media environment is industrious.

Everyone wants to be in the media – politicians, motivational speakers, consumers, brands, entertainers, pastors, even bankers, fraudsters and climbers.

To be frank, only few deserve coverage, but in a country where a tabloid journalist earns less than $100 per month, where most newspapers owe up to six months’ salaries, and TV stations pay tokens for wages, it is no surprise that the numbers of reporters and editors patronizing their subjects have been increasing.

Some of the busiest journalists are freelance agents; securing advert placements, planting news and features in their journals, managing celebrities and consulting for banks and politicians. Many of their bosses are aware of these activities – if not equally guilty.

According to a May 2015 report by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, about 9 Nigerian newspapers owed salaries up to 18 months.

Journalists protest against ThisDay over non-payment of salaries

The media scene is a mess and the public relations industry in Nigeria is a beneficiary. Driven by a news conference and press release culture, PR pros in these parts have mastered how to speak the language of envelopes. For decades, they have connived with poorly remunerated reporters and struggling publishers to fill papers and magazines with promotional content that scarcely catches the interest of the readers.

There are now about 50 agencies registered with Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), the body recognized by government to regulate PR consultancy in Nigeria. Yet, there are hundreds more, practicing in every sector, without certification by NIPR or PRCAN.

A 2015 BHM Survey estimates that around 1,900 press releases are issued per day in Nigeria. Most of these are from politicians, corporate organizations and celebrities.

Journalists on every beat are bombarded with emails and phone calls requesting priority. Usually, only those from ‘friendly’ sources make it into the pages in consequence of bank alerts, gifts and promises. Most of the time, the press releases are announcing a new product, countering a report, promoting a new artiste, or an event.

In 2013, three top 10 agencies paid out over $250,000. One year after, the figure could have quadrupled for each of these agencies.

Meanwhile, newspaper sales continue to drop at an alarming rate. At least, five print publications – The News, Entertainment Express, Sunday Express, PM News, Y!,- have gone under in the past year; many have reduced frequency of publication while others are shutting down presses and cutting staff. After publishing for five years, Nigerian Entertainment Today is shutting down its weekly print edition to focus fully on digital operations.

PR agencies are not doing any better. Many are unable to keep senior staff due to poor remuneration. Salaries are owed regularly – a sad reality for an industry that pays less than half what advertising pays. Just as it is in the media, some of the brightest talents in PR have fled, in search of better packages.

The verdict is clear – consumers don’t care about press releases. Consumers only care about themselves and what is important to them. When agencies and media began to bore audiences, they wasted no time in switching to an alternative: blogs and websites, which spoke their language.

Elsewhere, in the United States and England, agencies are embracing story-telling and big ideas. Agencies are news jacking, blogging and breaking the Internet. The press release has been murdered and buried. Elsewhere, bribery is a sin and if it does happen at all, it is clandestine with clear understanding of implications.

TheNiche

Moreover, PR is driven by clear strategy and clear measurement indices. Media is driven by circulation figures and ethics. Those who practice otherwise are the exception, not the norm as it is here in Nigeria.

Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and PRCAN are working hard to cleanse the practice and lead the industry into the future. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other associations are working to ensure organizations treat their journalists better, and more than a few agencies are determined to execute campaigns that meet current global standards.

Great case studies are emerging from Nigeria. Little agencies are doing big things and interests in membership for NIPR and PRCAN is at an all time high.

But experts claim some things will need to happen before we experience this big transformation.

  • Journalists will have to be better trained and remunerated.
  • Media organizations will have to be better funded and run.
  • PR professionals will need to embrace new thinking  – we will need to think and behave like copywriters, filmmakers, storytellers, comedians, designers, editors and bloggers.
  • Regulation will have to be stringent to make it more difficult for quacks to find and keep business.
  • PR consultancies will have to be better funded and run. There will have to be mergers, acquisitions and partnerships.
  • In-house PR staff will have to embrace technology, stay updated on trends and be at the forefront of helping management understand that #PRISDEAD.
  • Training, according to all the experts surveyed, is at the centre of it all. We all -media, agencies, regulators – must invest in training and tools if we are to change our stories and change our lives. All three must work together to create the kinds of experience that will lure the audiences back.