Nigerian music is growing, but… —Kadiri, Boomplay General Manager
Dele Kadiri is the General Manager of Boomplay, Africa’s largest music streaming platform. With over 15 years in the world of advertising, Kadiri has developed media businesses over the years. In this interview with Segun Adebayo, he talks about the opportunities in the music streaming business in Nigeria and how Boomplay has developed into a global brand. Excerpts
How has life been managing the affairs of Boomplay Music?
Life has been on a rollercoaster of sleepless nights and strategic planning. When you are at the helms of affairs, you need to make everything work. You need to carry the team along because your team’s performance is your performance. If the team is not performing, I am not performing. It is a wonderful experience with a load of responsibilities.
Boomplay now has 48 million users worldwide, how has it been working with this platform?
Working with a music platform is exciting. I actually have a music background and working now with the biggest platform in Africa is amazing. The platform is growing daily so it makes all the work we put into it worth it, especially having over 48 million subscribers.
How has your partnership with Warner Bros been of benefit to the Nigerian market and even Africa at large?
Warner’s partnership allows us to bring in international content to Africa. We want Boomplay to be a one-stop-shop for local and global content. If Cardi B or Nicki Minaj releases a song, you would be able to get it on our app.
How has the app been able to change the face of Nigerian music in recent times?
If you look at the statistics of mobile phone users in Nigeria, you’d see that android subscribers are the most. As a result, we were able to reach those millions early by pre-installing Boomplay on Transsion devices like Tecno, Infinix and Itel. Secondly, we created a platform easy for musicians to place their material on and that has made us to help them in a way. Third, as a company, we are genuinely invested in the growth of the industry in Nigeria. It’s a very inspiring time to be in the thick of internet explosion that has made Africa the new mass market.
How will you assess the music industry and the expansion we have seen?
Nigerian music is growing and it is going to be one of the biggest industries in the next few years. Our sound is recognised in the diaspora; our artistes have major collaborations outside Africa. We are doing good but we need to keep putting out good music that have meanings, that can educate across generations. Things are changing fast with the advent of technology and Nigerians adapt quickly, so I am confident that we will thrive. Artistes like Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid and many more are making good music that are of global standards.
How can an artiste make money from Boomplay?
It is very easy. Just sign up with our content provider, share the link to your song on social media and tell your fans, friends and family to subscribe, stream or download via the app and you get paid for every stream and download.
Have they truly been making money?
Yes. People have been getting their royalties from us. However, they should be getting more but due to piracy and blogs posting their content for free, it shortchanges these artists. So we advise artistes not to give their songs for free. It’s only right that you get paid for investing in your music.
Some artistes make the mistake of not pushing their songs through the right platforms, thereby falling short of the needed knowledge of the digital app by not availing themselves the opportunities. Kindly tell us what you think about this?
A lot of artistes need more education on the benefits of digital music distribution. So we are coming up with a forum to enlighten these artistes on how they can put their song on digital platforms to reap financial benefits, especially on Boomplay.
How big is Boomplay in Africa and what is the expansion level like?
Boomplay is the biggest music app in Africa and now is the right time for artistes to be exposed to 48 million plus users all over the globe.
As the General Manager at Boomplay, how have you been able to handle the affairs of such a big music platform?
It hasn’t been easy. Aside people management and back-to-back discussions, having great minds and good people to work with to actualise a goal have been of great support.
At what point did you become the general manager and what prepared you for this task?
I was the head of sales after which I got promoted to the General Manager. I have 14 years experience in advertising and sales, I pioneered one of the first music platforms in Nigeria. So, that experience and exposure I would say prepared me for this position.
Would you say you have really paid your dues?
Yes, I would. A lot of people that know me in the advertising industry would attest to that. I build relationships because they are important to our career growth.
What should we expect from the platform in the next five years?
In the next five years, I want Nigeria and Africa to expect a shocker. We are currently in Africa but we have plans to expand to Francophone countries. Our goal is to be on the same competitive level with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.