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Audiomack creates platform for Nigerian talents

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Audiomack is a streaming platform that allows artistes share their music and provides fans opportunity to discover new artistes and songs. In this interview, Head of Operations and Commercial Partnerships, Audiomack Africa, Adeyemi Adetunji, explains the company’s efforts towards developing local talents, its investment activities in Africa, as well as the company’s plans for the continent.

What is Audiomack about and is it out to achieve?
Our goal is to lead listeners through music discovery, not only with the big artiste names but the up-and-coming names as well. With our discovery and trending pages, we present listeners with personalised suggestions, as well as what we think is the most exciting up and coming music in the world now.
  
We nurture communities by equipping creators with free tools and developmental resources for building their success, making us uniquely artist-centric. Our mission has always been, and always will be, to help the creators thrive.

How have you been able to penetrate the African market, specifically the Nigerian market?
We have always recognised Africa, Nigeria to be precise, as a key market presenting growth opportunities for Audiomack and in July 2020, we expanded our operations in the region by opening an office in Lagos.

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A key factor that has helped us penetrate the African market is that we are a free platform for both the listener and the artiste. On the Audiomack platform, artistes do not have to buy space to upload music as they can create a free profile and upload their music with unlimited space, while all listeners need to enjoy music is data. This is in addition to the feature of downloading music to enable offline plays and listens.
  
Additionally, we have developed influential relationships with the strongest names in African music by persistently collaborating and aligning with artistes and key stakeholders in the market. We have released content with Burna Boy, Davido and Mr. Eazi, and demonstrated the value of artistes adopting and promoting their use of Audiomack. We understand reliable industry relationships are vital to our presence and growth within the region and so far, we have built solid relationships with artistes within the region, which they recognise and appreciate because we are transparent and collaborative, which differentiates Audiomack from other streaming platforms.

What is your vision for the industry in Nigeria, and how are you working towards bringing this vision to life?
Our vision for the Nigerian music industry is to tell its stories by amplifying the voices of the region’s creatives, especially as the Afrobeats scene expands, globally. Through our spearheading initiatives, we are gradually working towards bringing this vision to life. An example of such an initiative is our Rising Stars challenge, a talent discovery programme designed to increase the visibility of artistes across the continent. We will continuously collaborate with key stakeholders and empower creators by not only providing a global platform for music sharing and listening but also investing resources into the region’s culture and communities to accelerate the industry.

Considering the pool of talent in Africa, how has your outfitontributed to promoting and building capacity for these talents?
As said earlier, we are uniquely artist-centric and we keep looking for channels to promote and build capacity for not only the huge artistes, but the up-and-coming artistes as well. Our Rising Stars challenge held in collaboration with Afrochella is a key example of such a channel.

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Launched in 2019, Rising Stars is an initiative created to discover and promote upcoming talents across Africa. The first edition saw over a hundred entries from African artistes compete for a chance to perform on stage at 2019 Afrochella, alongside a cash prize and a studio session with BBNZ live – one of Africa’s leading entertainment and artiste management agency.
 
The second edition is currently underway and in addition to the winning prize of $1000 and a studio session with BBNz, the winner also receives an artiste feature on our platform. Also, we just concluded a competition with East African stars Navy Kenzo, where we asked artistes to submit a remixed version of their hit single “Why Now” and the winner of the competition received $1000 and professional studio equipment.
   
Through our initiatives, we provide an opportunity for the public to discover emerging talents and ensure the delivery of authentic and quality music to the global audience.

What are some of the challenges Audiomack has faced while operating in the African environment?
In addition to low internet connectivity, high cost of data and smartphone penetration in Africa, another challenge is the *low understanding of the benefits of Audiomack. By executing a myriad of outreach programmes, we aim to educate artistes and listeners on how to reap the benefits of the platform.*

In spite of the challenges facing the sector, what are some of the opportunities that your outfit has been able to identify and taken advantage of?
As mentioned earlier, high data costs is one of the challenges faced in this region and we have been able to navigate this by offering offline listens and download on the Audiomack platform. With this, our users have the opportunity to listen to music offline without incurring data costs.
  
Another major opportunity is the constant yearning by artistes to gain a competitive understanding and utilisation of Audiomack. We get e-mails and messages pouring in from artistes, as they see the intrinsic value of having their music on a platform that could be accessed by such a vast userbase.
I am certain that we will continuously identify and take advantage of key trends in the market and move music forward across Africa.

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How do you think your investment in Africa will impact and accelerate the Nigerian music ecosystem?
Primarily, our initiatives have created a global platform for Nigerian talents and through projects like Rising Stars, we are looking to invest and find the next big artiste. Also, we hope to unearth the next generation of African musical superstars by encouraging growth in the sector through collaboration with industry key players, while our platform cultivates an empowering community of listeners and creators to elevate the best talent across the continent.

Where do you envision Audiomack Africa in coming years?
I see Audiomack remaining at the forefront of African music by continuing to curate and showcase the best talent that African has to offer on a global platform. With our commitment to the Afrobeats scene, we will pioneer and pave the way for the genre as a centerpiece in the global music industry.

Are there plans for Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to improve the lives of people in the community where you operate?
We believe in giving back to its host communities by investing in the livelihood and stability of the communities in which we operate.We recently upgraded the Accra High School for Girls football field because we want the youth to continue to innovate and express their creativity on and off the pitch.

In addition, we partnered with Amsterdam-based fashion label, Daily Paper to host the 2021 annual football tournament held to unite the local creative community. As a company, we are taking all necessary steps to identify and support organisations that are actively advocating for social justice and the wellbeing of citizens in Nigeria and across Africa.

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