Dwindling Oil revenue, Agriculture & how Entertainment can save our economy – Video from my #NECLive4 speech
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?
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.
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.
Here’s what we know about the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What did you do on the morning of Monday May 26th?
I was, as Steve Babaeko puts it, beach bumming in Mauritius, while you were either at work, in a boring status meeting, in traffic or in class. Sorry.
I have mixed feelings as I write. I feel good because what started out as a wish, an idea to bring the creative and entertainment industry in Nigeria together annually has become a reality. There was the pleasant surprise of the success of our debut last year, and the amazing support this year’s event has received from far and near. Today should be indeed a happy day. But it’s not. I feel pain because I know that there’s so much work to be done. And we’re not even scratching the surface.