An evaluation of how Nigerians access their music revealed that most Nigerians get their music either from supermarkets (29%), hawkers (27%) or from dealers (22%); at times not necessarily licensed music distributors. A considerable proportion of Nigerians admitted to accessing their favorite Nigerian tunes or music library by downloading through mobile devices from family and friends (17%) or from online sources (19%), which may likely be a contributing factor to Nigerian music piracy.
The Nigerian music industry is regarded as the heart of African music; it has produced global stars ranging from Fela Kuti in the 1970’s to D-banj in the early 2000’s. Dating back to the 1920’s, the Nigerian music industry has been an integral part of the society which represents the many divergent cultures and religions of the people.
With the introduction of modernism, recording technology became more advanced, the gangan talking drum, electric guitar and accordion were incorporated into juju. During this time, Nigerian music started to take on new instruments and techniques introducing the popular Rhythm and blues (RnB), Soul and Funk. Highlife was prominent amongst the Igbo people in the 1950’s.
Irrespective of its tremendous achievements and popularity, the industry has been plagued with a number of obstacles that have hindered its progress such as rampant music piracy. Piracy is a major issue across the entire Nigerian entertainment industry. As of 2008, pirated music sales were estimated to be at 30million. This has ruined the careers of many of Nigeria’s greatest creative minds and led to significant divestment of many multinational companies.
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted it recent poll on the Nigerian Music Industry to assess current trends in the Music industry and the accessibility of its products. To achieve this, respondents were asked 4 specific questions and findings are illustrated in the charts below.
To estimate the proportion of Nigerians that listen to Nigerian music, respondents were asked: Do you listen to Nigerian Music? Findings revealed that the vast majority of adult Nigerians (80%) listen to Nigerian music, irrespective of age and geo-political zones. This finding points out that the culture of Nigerian music listenership has been greatly preserved, though Nigerian music has evolved over time. This is supported by the fact that the younger generation aged 18-21 years has the highest level of listenership (83%) to Nigerian music.
On the other hand, 20% of Nigerians do not listen to Nigerian music. A variety of reasons could be responsible for this low interest in music generally or specifically Nigerian music. Furthermore, the highest proportion of Nigerians that do not listen to Nigerian music are resident in the North-West (35%).
With the aim of gaining insight on current trends in the music industry, respondents who listened to Nigerian music (80% of the total) were asked: What type (genre) of Nigerian music do you listen to? Results show that that half (50%) of the respondents indicated they listen to Religious music and this is higher among female (60%)than male listeners (41%). This finding reveals a huge market and potential for Religious music and artists; and further reflects the fact that Nigerians are most satisfied with the religious aspect of their lives as evidenced by the Monthly NOIPolls Personal Well-Being Index.
Other music genre’s popularly listened to by Nigerians are Hip-Hop (33%), Highlife and R&B (21% each). Fuji which was popular in the 1960s and ‘70s has a smaller proportion of listeners in current times (13%) when compared to other aforementioned genres.
Further analysis by age reveals variations in listenership across different genre of Nigerian music. Listenership of Religious music is higher among senior citizens aged 46 years & above; while listenership to Hip-Hop and R&B music are higher among teenagers and young adults aged between 18-29 years. Interestingly, a higher proportion of respondents who listen to traditional music are aged 18-21 years (30%) showing the preservation and fusion of Nigerian music even in the present time.
Still in the bid to explore current trends in the music industry, respondents were asked: Who is your favorite Nigerian Musician? Findings revealed that ‘Tuface’ topped the chart as the most liked Musician with 13% fan base. It is interesting to note that though Nigerians are more inclined to Religious music, this has not affected their judgment of favorite musicians. Innocent Ujah Idibia widely known as Tuface is a Nigerian songwriter, actor and record producer known for his passion in R&B/Hip-Hop music.
Results are not surprising when considering Tuface’s talent and hard work as evidenced by several national (Nigerian Music Awards) and international awards (MTV Europe Music Award, World Music Award, etc.) that he has received. His most recent award nomination was for the Best Live Act at the 2014 MTV Music Africa Awards.
The next three musicians liked by Nigerians are
- ‘Davido’ (7%) who is mostly liked by Nigerians aged 18-21 years (10%);
- ‘Frank Edwards’ (6%) mostly liked by Nigerians aged 22-29 years (10%) and
- ‘Wizkid’ (5%) who is mostly liked by respondents aged 18-21 years (20%).
In addition, 17% of Nigerians indicated they got their music free either by downloading from the devices of family and friends as well as from online sources (19%) which further highlights piracy as a major challenge of the music industry. Music piracy is the copying and distributing of copies of a piece of music for which the composer, recording artist, or copyright-holding record company did not give consent. In addition 18% of the respondents listen to Nigerian music on their local radio channels amongst other sources.
More findings revealed that age plays a great role in the sources through which Nigerians get their Nigerian music. This is buttressed through the fact that a higher proportion of Nigerians aged 18-21 mostly get their music free through online downloads (40%) and downloads from the devices of family and friends (29%). On the contrary, Nigerians that are older than 61 years mostly get Nigerian music by listening to radio (36%) and by buying from supermarkets (28%) as well as from dealers (25%).
Findings from the poll revealed that 80% of the Nigerian Adult population listens to Nigerian music, irrespective of age and geo-political zone. Out of this proportion, the majority prefer Gospel/Religious music (50%) followed by Hip-Hop (33%), Highlife (21%) and R&B (21%). Tuface Idibia; a Nigerian musician, songwriter, actor and record producer topped the chart as the most liked Musician with13%, followed by Davido (7%); Frank Edward (6%) and Wizkid (5%). The highest proportion of Nigerians pays to get their music either from supermarkets (29%) followed by hawkers (27%) dealers (22%) and online downloads (9%).
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