By Dipo Olowookere
Building on the success of The Voice Nigeria, Airtel Africa Plc is partnering with FAME Studios Africa to sponsor the debut edition of The Voice Africa.
At a high-profile event in Lagos to unveil the programme on Wednesday, the leading telecommunications and mobile money services provider explained that it was throwing its weight behind the music talent hunt show to budding artists in all 14 Airtel Africa markets a platform to showcase their skills.
Airtel sponsored seasons three and four of The Voice Nigeria, and to expand the reach, it decided to include other African countries. The Voice Africa commenced a call for virtual auditions today, Wednesday, October 19, 2022, and will be followed by live auditions later this year. The show will be broadcast in March 2023, with the grand finale taking place later in the year.
The Voice is the number one competition format music and entertainment show in the world, airing in over 180 countries.
At the event today, it was stated that The Voice Africa would be streamlined to millions of Africans via Airtel TV, free-to-air stations (FTAs) and paid channels across 14 countries in Africa.
It is expected to attract and showcase the brightest of African musical talents alongside a high-profile panel of coaches and TV hosts and act as a launchpad for global recognition.
Seven participants from each of the 14 countries will be selected to participate in the programme, with one of them eventually crowned The Voice Africa.
“As a business, we are driven by the purpose to transform lives, and that means unlocking the potential for people to grow.
“The Voice Africa gives us an incredible platform to help discover and champion the musical talents of young Africans, enabling them to achieve their full potential. I believe the drama and excitement around their stunning performances will unite people across the continent,” the group chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, said.
Speaking further, he said, “Our musical landscape is culturally rich, vibrant, and dynamic, and the rhythms of Africa are already making a massive impact globally.
“There is a huge opportunity for African music to be exported on a scale larger than ever before, and The Voice Africa has come to empower our young talent and help them fulfil their ambitions. Airtel Africa is facilitating the emergence of successful musicians who can compete with their peers from anywhere in the world.”
The Voice Africa is the latest initiative from Airtel Africa designed to support the continent’s most valuable asset by far: young Africans.
Over the years, Airtel Africa has sponsored MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs), the Zain Africa Challenge, which brought university students together in a quiz contest, and the Airtel Rising Stars, a football tournament for Under-15 boys and girls.
“Airtel Africa has always believed in Africa and will always do so,” Mr Ogunsanya continued. “As the continent with the youngest population worldwide – some 50% – harnessing their creativity, talent and energy could be transformational for Africa. Through The Voice Africa, Airtel Africa is providing a platform for Africa’s youth to showcase their talent and be the best they can be. The future of Africa is bright. The future of Africa is now.”
Airtel Africa and The Voice’s innovative partnership will drive excitement for fans through on-air customized content integrations, digital and social media activations and in-country events.
Nigerian Music Stars in Hot Demand Worldwide—NCC
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has tasked content creators in the country to take advantage of the many advancements in the nation’s growing telecommunications industry, saying much can be achieved through music artists, who are hotcakes globally.
The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Mr Umar Danbatta, stated this in Lagos over the weekend while speaking at the 10th Annual Brands and Marketing Conference of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) where the NCC was conferred with the Regulator of the Decade award.
Represented by the Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, the EVC noted that the ongoing process, for which arrangements are in top gear, followed the successful auctioning of two bands of the 3.5GHz spectrum in December of 2021.
Mr Danbatta informed the participants at the conference that content creation and consumption had grown around the telecommunications infrastructure provided by technology, which Nigerian entertainers had leveraged to become global brands.
He said, “Due to heavy leverage on digital platforms, the Nigerian entertainment industry has gone global. Nollywood is one of the biggest movie industries in the world. In fact, more movies are produced by Nollywood yearly in comparison to Hollywood.
“Nigerian music stars are in hot demand worldwide because of their popularity and brand recognition on social media. We should add that many of these global superstars emerging from Nigeria launched into stardom by leveraging caller tunes and other mobile content platforms to grow their brands and huge followers online.”
Mr Danbatta declared that, “Digital platforms are fostering different types of systemic change, creating new brands, eroding the value of some brands, whilst at the same time increasing the value of other brands. The innovation-transformation-disruption cycle has come to stay and will be exacerbated as technology continues to evolve.”
The EVC assured that the NCC would continue to aggressively drive the rollout and seamless operation of infrastructure to drive new digital technologies to benefit all sectors of our economy.
“It is our hope that Nigerian brands will continue to leverage robust infrastructure to grow their value and ensure that our country derives maximum benefit from unfolding digital transformation efforts,” he said.
Gospel Singer Sammie Okposo Slumps, Dies
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Reports just filtering in indicate that a popular gospel artist in Nigeria, Sammie Okposo, has passed on.
Details of this unfortunate incident are still sketchy, but it was gathered that he passed away on Friday at the age of 51 after he slumped.
Recall that some months ago, Sammie Okposo was in the news over issues concerning his marriage.
The Wellu Wellu crooner later apologised to his fans and others for betraying their trust, promising to be a better person.
Three years ago, the Delta State-born music star had a close encounter with death after the propeller shaft of his car pulled off while on motion.
More than a Music Streaming Service – Why You Should Allocate Media Spend To Spotify
By Carla Harrison
If I were to pick up your phone right now, there’s a very good chance that I’d find Spotify among your apps. It is, after all, the world’s most popular music streaming service, with 433 million users (188 million of whom are paid subscribers) in 183 countries. Since its launch in 2008, it’s transformed the way the world listens to music and helps launch the careers of artists around the world.
And if you use Spotify, you’re probably also aware that it’s expanded from just music streaming into podcasting, with some 4 million podcast titles joining its library of 82 million songs. But did you know that it’s also a powerful advertising platform with a growing focus on the African continent?
Any brand that’s serious about expansion, particularly in high-growth markets such as Nigeria, simply cannot afford to ignore it.
The pros of radio, plus more
In order to understand what makes Spotify such an appealing platform for advertisers, it’s worth first reminding ourselves of the strengths offered by traditional radio. In general, for example, radio ads are more cost-effective than other forms. You can also get away with increased frequency, meaning that your message is more likely to stick.
Spotify offers all the benefits of radio advertising plus more. With growing numbers of people listening to digital audio streaming every day, you’re guaranteed an active and engaged audience. At the same time, you’re also reaching them while they listen to what they love. And because Spotify’s targeting options are so advanced, your brand can reach specific people based on age, gender, music genre, and playlist. Unlike radio, Spotify guarantees 100% completed listens in its reporting. It can also provide metrics around which type of audience engaged with your ad and a companion banner which allows users to click through to a webpage.
The streaming service is an innovator in the advertising space too. Its 3D audio feature, for instance, allows brands to provide premium quality advertising through an immersive, dynamic, and sensory audio experience. As a result, listeners don’t just hear an ad; they feel it.
But Spotify offers more than just audio ads. It also allows brands to reinforce their messages with high-impact display and video ad formats. Spotify video ads are actually the best performing in the industry, as they had to be built for viewability. The ads are 100% viewable and 100% audible, and Spotify only charges for 100% completion.
Making an impact in Africa
It’s also worth pointing out that Spotify is seeing significant levels of growth across Africa. While the streaming service has been available in South Africa since 2018, its real expansion into Africa only came in early 2021, when it launched in an additional 40 countries.
But just a year after launching in Nigeria, the number of artists streamed per user had grown by 60%, and Nigerian music fans had created 1.3 million user-generated playlists. Additionally, nearly 21 000 songs had been added to the platform, placing Nigeria as the country with the second most streams after Pakistan in the new markets, with Kenya third in the ranking.
That growth isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon, either. According to Statista, music streaming revenues in Nigeria are expected to show an annual growth rate of 12.61% between 2022 and 2027. It’s also worth noting that penetration in the overall streaming market currently sits at just 4.1%. With an additional 35 million Nigerians set to come online by 2026 (all of whom will be hungry for the consumer experiences that come with affordable and ubiquitous access), Spotify looks primed for significant growth.
That comes with obvious growth benefits for advertisers, especially when you factor in that 39.6% of music streaming users are in the medium-income group. As Nigeria’s economy continues to grow, that income group will become larger and more valuable.
Partnering with the experts
Brands looking to utilise Spotify as a marketing platform don’t have to go in blind, either. By working with experts that have specialist teams, they can get the most out of their campaigns. The right partners will also offer advertisers price transparency, ensuring that they get advertising on the platform at the most affordable rates.
In doing so, they can ensure that they always reach the right audiences at the right time with the right message. Moreover, with Spotify, they’re reaching people during the moments they love. And that’s always incredibly valuable for any marketer. Small wonder then, that Spotify is seen as the most trusted ad platform among consumers. Factor in the brand safety it offers, and you have a winning combination.
A culmination of factors
Ultimately then, Spotify represents the culmination of a number of factors that should be of interest to anyone with a media budget that needs to be spent. And as Africa, and Nigeria in particular, that combination of engaged, active audiences, the ability to target specific audiences, and innovative advertising products will only become more important.
Carla Harrison is the East African Sales Manager at Ad Dynamo by Aleph
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