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.
Every day, I come across people who want to know why we could have done something as stupid as resting the weekly print edition of Nigerian Entertainment Today. With each enquiry, I take my time to explain what’s happening, how consumer habits are changing, how news has become fast food, how circulation in Nigeria is a mess, how media agencies and newspaper agents are evil, how small businesses are better off shedding that excess print baggage and focusing on all the opportunities digital provides.
Digital adoption will continue to be on the increase, as internet access gets better in developing countries like Nigeria. Newspaper and magazine sales will continue to drop, as consumers look to radio, TV, blogs and other means to get information and entertainment. It’s my wish that newspaper owners will do digital better – I’ve seen, and must commend what The Guardian is doing, with the help of Ventra Media. I’ve seen how Vanguard is using technology and innovative reporting to build impressive traffic. But, in a market as promising as ours, I believe there’s more to be done, if the big seven are to survive the next 10-15 years.
It’s not only the newspaper business that’s being disrupted by technology.
Music, transportation, medicine, education, agriculture, banking, communications, construction, just name it. Even technology itself is being disrupted.
To understand what has happened, what’s happening, and adapt accordingly, is one thing. To imagine – and prepare for – what is to come is another.
To determine what should and could happen, and enable such is where you want to be – that’s what our friends in financial services have done; what those in telecommunications are doing. It’s what’s consuming the entire music industry.
Things will never remain the same. Media organisations need to begin to think themselves technology companies; think themselves marketing companies. They must begin to see the telcos and TV platforms as competition. Even the music and movie industries.
It’s time to disrupt yourself, your business, and all those trying to disrupt your market.
Spent Monday evening at the BHM Lounge, in company of some of the brightest minds around, as we gathered to celebrate the founder of X3M Group Steve Babaeko.
SB had announced last week that September 1 made it 20 years since he ventured into advertising.
As we shared hot amala and orisirisi; with canapés and cognac and cocktails, everyone spoke about the power of Steve’s imagination; about the determination and drive that got him here. Everyone agreed this gentleman that arrived in Lagos broke and hopeless changed his life and his story by doing the work- from artiste management to equipment leasing, to copywriting and music.
Music gave him the fame; advertising gave him a career and much more.
But it’s the inspiration – the one that pushes him; the one he gives to others even when he doesn’t try, that gave him a name.
That name may be what his parents gave him. But it’s no longer a basic nomenclature for a random guy from Kabba in Kogi state. That name now belongs to a trusted brand that’s fulfilling a promise: that Nigerian advertising can be great again; that copy writers and creative directors can build a business too; that you can make it if you dare. That an agency CEO can sag his pants and wear Giuseppe Zanotti . The promise (and message) that everything you want is chilling on the other side of fear.
The full story of Steve Babaeko will be told someday soon.
Happy anniversary, boss.
Kelvin Orifa, Steve Babaeko & Toni Kan
Kelvin Orifa, Steve Babaeko & Ayo Animashaun
With Yetunde Babaeko
Jonah the Monarch, Modenine with Yetunde & Steve Babaeko