The Nigerian Music Industry: Making the Music Pay through Intellectual Property

The Nigerian Music Industry: Making the Music Pay through Intellectual Property. Industry Insight. By Solomon Nzere, Infusion Lawyers, Intellectual Property Law Firm in Nigeria

by Solomon Nzere,


Industry Insight, January 2018


Overview of the Nigerian Music Industry

Perhaps the inspiring history of Nigeria’s music industry is best told through Star Mega Jam, a mega music-performance concert which paraded international artistes like Shaggy, Usher, Akon, T-Pain, Ludacris, and other stars from its inception in 2000 to 2010. In the midst of this boisterous mega music concert, a quiet revolution was brewing. Sparks of this revolution came to fore in December 2004 when Eedris Abdulkareem, a Nigerian rapper, protested the obvious disparity in the treatment given to foreign artistes over the local artistes at the concert. The protest exposed the lopsidedness in Nigeria’s young music industry.

But today, it’s a different story.

Since the Star Mega Jam concert, all that has had to be chronicled is the continued rise and rise of the Nigerian music industry which hit an undeniable high point in Wizkid’s sold-out performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Nigerian artistes now headline shows without big foreign names and command the bulk of endorsements from companies.

This growth has been captured in numbers with PwC reporting that revenue from music sales in Nigeria is estimated to grow to $86 million in 2019 from its value of $47 million in 2016, a growth fuelled largely by sales of ringtones and ringback tunes. This revenue growth in the music industry forms a major part of the total growth expected in the entertainment and media industry where revenue is projected to grow from 44.8 million in 2013 to $86.1 million in 2019.

In a Reuters analysis, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector of the Nigerian economy grew by 8.41 percent in the first three months of 2016 against a background of recession.  

These numbers might seem fantastic but the Nigerian music industry is hardly a finished piece. Let’s take an incisive look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the music industry with a brief SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.


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