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‘Living in Bondage-Breaking Free’ Now on Airtel TV Platform

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Living in Bondage–Breaking Free

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The classic drama thriller, Living in Bondage–Breaking Free, is now airing on the Airtel TV platform, the leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced.

This development was made possible as a result of its partnership with Trace Content Distribution, a new division within the Trace TV Group.

Commenting on the inclusion of the movie on Airtel TV, Dinesh Balsingh, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, said Airtel will always go the extra-mile to deliver top-notch and quality content for telecommunications consumers on the Airtel TV platform.

“Airtel is revolutionizing the television viewing experience for all its customers. With Airtel TV, we bring the best shows, best movies and the best of Live TV to our customers, engaging them with premium content as well as bringing joy, happiness and laughter to everyone regardless of location, entry fee and income level,” Balsingh said.

Managing Director of Trace, Sam Onyemelukwe, while commenting, stated that, “Airtel TV represents a revolution for movies and series in Nigeria and beyond, Trace Content Distribution (TCD, a new division within Trace) saw Airtel TV as a massive opportunity for the industry, so as a key aggregator for Airtel TV, we are excited to bring Living in Bondage onto the platform and look forward to continuing the trend with other blockbuster Nollywood movies.”

The drama thriller is a sequel to the 1990’s blockbuster ‘Living in Bondage’. The new version was directed by veteran actor, Ramsey Nouah and it featured Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kenneth Okonkwo and Enyinna Nwigwe, among others.

‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free,’ which had Charles Okpaleke as its executive producer, has received critical acclaim, taking home 11 awards (a landslide) at the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) and numerous positive reviews from critics, reviewers and movie lovers, with many praising the cinematography, setting and performances from the cast, especially Ramsey Nouah, Muna and Kanayo.

The movie has gone to break box office records, ranking 11th overall on the list of highest-grossing Nigerian films of all time.

Customers of the telco have thousands of other Nollywood and Hollywood blockbusters to choose from on the Airtel TV app at no subscription cost. They can also enjoy data-free access to movies on the app for the first 7 days after download.

To enjoy Airtel TV, customers can download the app on Google Play Store and Apple Store- then, launch and click “register”. Once registration is complete, customers can browse through the catalogue and stream any content or channel of choice.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Spotify to Expose Local Artistes to 345 million Global Listeners

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Spotify Acquires Parcast

By Ahmed Rahma

The opening of Spotify in Africa, especially in Nigeria, will benefit local artistes yearning for global exposure, the music app platform has assured.

The Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa at Spotify, Ms Phiona Okumu, said in an interview on Saturday with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the company was focused on engaging the local music market in Nigeria.

She noted that much attention would be given to the promotion of local contents in the music industry, adding that, “Everything we are doing right now is made for Africa.”

“I think you will notice when we roll out, you are going to see New Music Friday which is localized for Nigeria and users that are in Ghana will see New Music Friday that is localized for Ghana.

“In Kenya, it’s the same thing,” she added.

Ms Okumu, while speaking on how Spotify would help develop the music industry, said there would be more exposure for artistes and ease of music exportation with more benefits.

“The launch of Spotify in Africa means that artistes that were considered localized or not international enough as others certainly have the benefit of being exposed to over 345 million listeners around the world.

“So, now we are going to be able to share sound and stories from Nigeria.

“Stories that we once thought were only to be consumed at home, this platform gives the opportunity for those stories to be circulated all-round the globe.

“Local talents will get the credit for their stories and for their voices and for all of these things that we’re doing in the audio space,” she said.

Ms Okumu added that the Spotify app would also help artistes build their career by tracking the performance of their songs in various countries which will help in planning their tours.

“We have a tool which we call Spotify for Artistes. It helps the artistes track in real-time how their new music is performing.

“You know who their audience is if they are gaining popularity in different parts of the globe, where they are going to be successful or something like that.

“So, they are very essential tools which are going to give them just what they need to navigate a kind of a post COVID world, it is what I call it now,” she stated.

According to her, if there is a song of theirs that’s doing really well in Germany, then they know that when they are ready to go on tour again, they should 100 per cent go to this town.

“Those kinds of specific data are points for any artistes’ team that are trying to build a career for themselves,” she added.

Spotify is a digital music service that gives access to millions of songs.

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When Powerful Nigerians Stormed Oyo for Tomori Williams

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Tomori Williams

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Sunday, February 28, will be etched in the history of Oyo Town for a very long time and this was because that day, the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, conferred the title of Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland on Otunba Tomori Williams.

Indeed, on that day, endless blessings flowed, as the town was agog with activities.

The three days event was incomparable to anything that had been seen in the state, as mouths were left agape by the display of wealth, opulence and taste.

Kicking off with a DJ night on Friday, February 26, guests were treated to a night of dance music.

If the first day was for the young at heart, the second day which saw guests hosted to a Sabaka Night was something else, as a blend of adults and youths enjoyed themselves to traditional old school music.

The climax of the event was on Sunday, February 28. Guests witnessed a show stopper event with people from all works of life in attendance.

Tomori Williams1

Kicking off at 10am, the palatial marquee, the venue of the event stood tall at the Aganju Forecourt of Alaafin’s palace. Indeed, it was a sight to behold as it was tastefully designed with drapes of delicate fabrics, chill air conditions, metal detectors, and what have you.

Indeed, such a marquee had never been spotted in the history of the town, as a lot of people confessed.

While the massive marquee served as the venue of the event, a smaller one was made available for the comfort of food vendors. It was indeed mind-blowing.

As expected, inside the marquee was a gathering of who-is-who, as almost all the important personalities in the southwest were in attendance.

Present at the event were notables such as Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Alao Akala; House of Representative member, Shina Peller; Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom, Oba Saheed Elegushi; Akinsiku of Lagos, Olalekan Dosunmu; and Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Oloyede Gbadamosi.

Also present were Oloyan of Oyankingdom, Oba Kelani and his Olori; Alara of Ilara Epe, Oba Folarin Ogunsanwo; the Lagos/mainland council of white cap chiefs; Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka; Onibogun of Ibogun, Oba Ifakayode Ajigbotifa; Chief Executive Officer of Sodium Brand Solutions Limited, Bisoye Fagade; Chief Olawale Andus, the Aro of Oto, representative of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Mogaji Nureni Akanbi; the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams and Onishagisha of Magodo.

Others at the event were Ambassador Ayanlakin, Oloye Akin Fijabi, Chief Wale Saranda, Chief (Mrs) Kadijat Bakare, Bashiru Fakorede, Mustapha Dodo among others.

Tomori Williams2

Music was supplied by the king of Fuji music, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, who doubles as the Mayegun of Yorubaland. He ensured that guests dance into the evening, as he dished out both old and new songs to the amazement of guests present.

Presenting a certificate of office to the newly installed Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland, Oba Adeyemi described Aare Tomori Williams as a brave successful businessman whose philanthropic gestures can’t be overemphasized.

Aare Tomori Williams is the MD/CEO of T. Williams Construction Nig. Limited, the Managing Director of Olaleye Property and Investment Limited, MD Maintek Property, and MD Olaleye New Town Developments Ltd. His various working expertise includes real estate developments, construction, and consultancy.

Indeed, history will remember Aare Tomori Williams for a long time to come.

Tomori Williams3

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I Wanted to Smash Bottle on Fathia Balogun’s Head—Remi Surutu

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Fathia Balogun Remi Surutu

**I Don’t Regret Slapping in Public

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

It came as a rude shock to fans of the movie industry in Nigeria recently when news emerged that two of the leading actresses engaged in a shameful public display.

How it happened

It was the burial of the father of a socialite, Mr Bamidele Omosehin, in Lagos, with Remi Surutu, Fathia Balogun and others in attendance.

While the party was going and the guests were marrying, Remi Surutu stood up from her table and went straight to where Fathia was sitting with others. She gave her colleague an unprovoked slapped, which attracted the attention of others.

It took the prompt intervention of others around to stop what would have been an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Remi explains the reason for her action

Speaking with City People in an interview about why she fought Fathia, who she acknowledged once live with her at her Magodo residence, Remi said she was angry that her former friend could be gossiping her in the industry.

Hear what she said

“My fight with Fathia Williams started when I began hearing all manner of jargons, she was saying about me. I heard she’s been going about running me down in the presence of many of our colleagues and movie producers. She’s messing up big time and somebody needed to put her in a place where she belongs.

“This is the person I took in as a sister. We were very close when she joined the industry. I can say it boldly that I was instrumental to her relationship with Saidi Balogun then. They were both living with me in Magodo. I had to send them out because they always fight, and they almost injured my mum.

“I don’t know why she suddenly grew that hatred for me and started running me down. To date, I still cannot say what I’ve done to deserve that from her. There are so many other things she did that I can’t say here.

“Faithia is full of herself, probably because they used to deceive her, by calling her the Queen of all the Actresses, Pelu awon tani (with who?).

“I decided to confront her and deal with her at that event because somebody needed to call her to order and God saved her that day and thank God for the intervention of other colleagues around. I told her if you move closer to me, I will break a bottle on your head.

“When people started calling us to settle it amicably, I told them I am not ready to settle anything with her and I don’t feel remorseful for attacking her. I have no regret at all, she’s really messing up and she needed to be put in her place.”

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SoundCloud Restructures Artistes’ Royalty Payments System

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SoundCloud Royalty Payment

By Ahmed Rahma

An online audio distribution platform and music sharing website, SoundCloud, has declared on Tuesday that it will become the first streaming service to start directing subscribers’ fees only to the artists they listen to, a move welcomed by musicians campaigning for fairer pay.

Unlike other streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and Apple, which put royalty payments into one big pot and dish them out based on which artists have the most global plays, the company based in Germany is set to direct royalties due from each subscriber-only to the artists they stream from April 1.

Many artists and unions stated that the system used by other music apps is grossly unfair, giving a huge slice of the pie to mega-stars like Drake and Ariana Grande, and leaving almost nothing for musicians further down the pecking order which also means that many fans of more niche artists and genres fund music they never actually listen to.

“Many in the industry have wanted this for years. We are excited to be the ones to bring this to market to better support independent artists,” said Michael Weissman, SoundCloud’s chief executive officer, in a statement.

The company said the new payment system is known as “fan-powered royalties” or “user-centric model” and would empower listeners and encourage greater diversity in musical styles.

“Artists are now better equipped to grow their careers by forging deeper connections with their most dedicated fans,” the statement said.

“Fans can directly influence how their favourite artists are paid,” it added.

Major record labels are thought to have resisted such a move, in part because the current system allows them to generate massive profits through a relatively small number of huge stars.

A study by France’s Centre National de la Musique earlier this year found that 10 per cent of all revenues from Spotify and Deezer go to just 10 artists at the top.

That has allowed the major labels to amass record revenues over the past year, just as most musicians were thrown into crisis by the cancellation of live tours due to the pandemic.

Earlier this year, label bosses told a British parliamentary commission investigating the streaming economy that it may be too complicated for platforms to shift to fan-based royalty payments.

But SoundCloud said this was exactly wrong that its computing calculations took just 20 minutes under the new model, compared with 23 hours under the old one.

“The most important takeaway from SoundCloud’s data is that none of the previous modelling has been accurate, that when you actually run a user-centric system, the rewards to artists that have an audience are significantly improved,” said Crispin Hunt, chair of the British Ivors Academy, which has been running a campaign to “fix streaming”.

“It proves the distortion in value that the existing model delivers,” he said.

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Spotify to Commence Operations in Nigeria, Others

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Spotify Acquires Parcast
By Ahmed Rahma

A Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, Spotify, has announced its intention to commence business operations in Nigeria, some African countries and others in the coming days.

To ensure usability in all of these new markets, the company also officially added support for 36 new languages to its platform, including Romanian, Hindi and Swahili. This means the platform now supports more than 60 languages in total.

Spotify explained that it was expanding its services to many Africam nations because these areas represent more than one billion potential new listeners.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to building a truly borderless audio ecosystem— connecting creators, listeners, and content—Spotify is embarking on a sweeping expansion that will introduce the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service available to more than a billion people in 80+ new markets around the world, and add 36 languages to our platform.

“These moves represent Spotify’s broadest market expansion to date,” the statement on the official website read.

According to Spotify, its full global music catalogue will be available in each of the new markets and the entire podcast catalogue will be available in the majority of them.

In each new market, “We will work with local creators and partners to expand our music offerings and deliver a Spotify experience that meets the unique needs of each market.”

Spotify offers digital copyright restricted recorded music and podcasts including more than 70 million songs, from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements and limited control, while additional features, such as offline listening and commercial-free listening, are offered via paid subscriptions.

Users can search for music based on artist, album, or genre, and can create, edit, and share playlists on the platform.

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Disney Offers Customers More Viewing Options

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Disney

By Ahmed Rahma

Walt Disney is set to introduce a new brand, Star, which will feature more viewing options for adults and a higher price for everyone using the Disney+ service.

With the new programming, subscribers will be able to watch more shows from the world’s largest entertainment company, including the ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy, FX’s biker series Sons of Anarchy and Hulu’s Love, Victor, about a teen coming to terms with his sexual orientation.

There will also be R-rated movies, such as the Queen Anne biopic The Favourite and Marvel’s Deadpool 2, which moms and dads can wall off from kids by activating parental controls, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, the price for Disney+ will increase to €8.99 ($10.87) a month from €6.99 due to the development.

The new Star brand is also being introduced in Canada, Australia and Singapore as a sixth “tile” on the Disney+ home screen, alongside Marvel, Pixar and other labels.

Disney+ has been a runaway success, garnering nearly 95 million subscribers globally.

The challenge now, as the Star launch underscores, is to grow beyond the current customer base of families with young children and adults who love Star Wars and Marvel.

In Europe, the problem is magnified because consumers in some countries don’t have a history of paying for TV. Local streaming rivals are also starting to emerge, including Sky’s Now TV in the U.K., Vivendi SA’s Canal+ Series in France and Nordic Entertainment Group AB’s Viaplay.

“A lot of consumers are looking for relatively low-cost entertainment,” said Richard Broughton, research director at London’s Ampere Analysis.

“Their incomes have been impacted by the pandemic. Now is the time to grab as many consumers as possible,” he added.

Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are the leaders in European streaming, and they’ve been active there much longer.

Disney+, at 14 million subscribers, trails Netflix’s 63.5 million, Amazon’s 43.2 million and Apple TV’s 14.8 million, according to Ampere. Disney doesn’t break out its numbers in the region.

The Star launch illustrates Disney’s differing approach to different markets. In India, a Disney+ Hotstar product featuring programs for grown-ups and live sports is already available.

In June, Disney will introduce Star as a stand-alone service in Latin America, with live sports. It will be bundled with Disney+ at a discounted price of $9 a month.

Disney has also announced 10 original series in the works for Star in Europe, a move that appeases countries with local content requirements, as well as consumers eager to see programs that relate to them.

According to the principal analyst at Digital TV Research in London, Simon Murray, ultimately, a library of programs such as espionage series 24 and domestic drama Desperate Housewives may prove a lure for 20- and 30-something consumers who haven’t signed up for Disney+ already.

“There’s quite a war going on there,” but nobody is losing subscribers,” he said.

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