Photo courtesy of BukiHQ Media
In April 2022, Burna Boy became the first African artist to headline New York’s Madison Square Garden. As New York is the media and brand capital of the world, this concert showed the world that African music is now a big deal.
In recent years, African music has grown beyond expectations, African artists are currently selling out stadiums, topping the Billboard charts and winning the Grammy Award in spectacular ways.
With different infusions and creativity, Afrobeats is the new cool and nostalgic drug for the world of music. Nigerian artist and producer “Ckay” went global with his emo-afro pop single “Love Nwantiti” which topped the Billboard charts in over 42 countries and generated over N4 billion in royalties according to a THISDAY report. Wizkid sold out for three nights at the 20,000-seat Indigo arena in London.
The growing penetration of smartphones and decent access to internet services have made Africa united in music and have also pushed far beyond Africa’s borders to a global audience.
“The number of African music streams hit an all-time high in 2021 across all streaming platforms, we’ve seen Wizkid and Tems make history with Essence.” Johnson Jason, Audiomack Africa Vice President Marketing and Brand Strategy.
This growth has fueled the interest of music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music to invest in the African music industry. In 2020 alone, Audiomack and YouTube expanded to Nigeria; In early 2021, Spotify expanded its operations in Nigeria and 3 other African markets by adding them to the previously existing 5. Additionally, we’ve seen several large record labels strike deals with local labels as they strategically position themselves for a share of Africa’s growing music earnings.
Music distribution and entry into the independent artist market remain a major problem
Now, with the speed with which African music and its industry are moving, access for independent artists to enter the market remains difficult. Independent artists continue to struggle to get their music distributed, managed and marketed efficiently. It is gradually becoming the norm that if an artist does not have a contract with a record label, the chances of breaking out are very slim, regardless of the artist’s talent.
Boomkit, a Musictech startup, is addressing these issues by relying on its founder’s industry experience and technology-based solutions.
Boomkit is building an ecosystem for independent African artists where they can manage, produce, distribute and monetize their music while retaining 100% ownership of their crafts.
Co-founded by Abiola Hamzat, a music business executive with over 9 years of industry experience. He has worked with several signed and independent artists, this has given him a first hand insight into the struggles of these artists.
On Boomkit, artists will be able to buy beats from veteran music producers across the continent, distribute their music across all digital platforms, receive their earnings, access marketing tools, and even track the performance of their entire catalog with analytics. in-depth career level analysis for better decision making on the artists side.
“We do all the heavy lifting for the artists and allow them to focus on making good music and that’s what matters,” Abiola said.
Engrave one step at a time
According to Ridwan Jimoh (CTO / Co-founder), “Boomkit was launched in October 2021, without a penny spent on marketing, we have successfully integrated over 10,000 artists and over 3,000 songs distributed globally through the platform.”
Songs by Grammy-winning artist Al Walser, Samklef, Ill Bliss, Tha Suspect and many other big names have been distributed via Boomkit since its inception.
Within the first year, Boomkit secured two global industrial partnerships.
Boomkit currently makes money through three main sources: subscriptions, add-on purchases, and transaction fees.
Funding for independent artists – The elephant in the room
Funding is a big problem faced by independent artists, it’s a cliché as old as time itself but still incredibly relevant. “Many artists have creativity, passion and dedication, but the only factor holding them back is money, independent artists have to raise money for their album project, live gigs and media promotions and when you pay for everything out of your own pocket. things add up fast. ”Explained by Eldee the don, a veteran music artist in his Podcast.
“Currently, traditional record labels are the only source of funding for independent artists in Africa. Even financing from a regular bank is not possible because banks are not prepared to understand what collateral they need to secure their loan. Hence the need for an institution like Boomkit that focuses on artists and their content ”. Abiola said.
Boomkit is addressing this issue by providing funding to artists on its platform through the royalty advance and its SupportME feature. With SupportME on Boomkit, an artist can receive donations from fans directly on their BoomPage (a minimalist website for Boomkit artists). This creates a new source of revenue for independent artists. With Royalty Advance, your credit is secured against anticipated earnings from music sales.
Building a record label for Gen Z in Africa
Boomkit is trying to redefine record deals for African artists with the use of data. According to Abiola, Boomkit’s next-generation record label aims to analyze music consumption and listening habits to identify promising talent and then sign the talent through licensing deals rather than traditional contracts. He points out that he sees this as a collaboration between peers, in which the interests of increasing the success and reach of a Boomkit-signed artist are equally aligned. The kind of added value the Boomkit team will bring will vary depending on the artist and what they need most, but will include things like public relations, marketing, branding, and having a more direct line to the online distributors they partner with.