Music Piracy is Hurting Economic Development. African music is exceptional. In Nigeria, with its movies and music, the entertainment industry is growing rapidly as it has established itself as the leader in interest across Africa. In music alone, artists like Tuface, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Wiz Kid, Yemi Alade, Korede Bello, Flavor, Chidinma and many others have raised the level of competition. The 2015 hit song I concur by Timaya, featuring Don Jazzy is a master hit. Just watch or listen to it. It is unbelievable, the African beat and rhythm. Now, I know these guys are doing well, but a lot more gain should come to them and spread through them to their communities and followers. What is stopping it? Perhaps the biggest stopper to much success in the industry is piracy. So far, the battle against music piracy in Africa is being waged mostly by industry artists and producers, who remain in a pitifully losing position. Africa is the motherland of rhythm and therefore should be the greatest global exporter of dance music, but it is not. Today the United States ranks way ahead of other countries in the size of its music industry. This year industry sales in the US are projected at over $15 billion, with live music ticket sales representing the largest share of the market. The second and third place countries globally are Germany and the United Kingdom with projected sales of $4.5 billion and $4.3 billion respectively. Price WaterhouseCoopers has projected that South Africa, is expected to generate $85.3 million in consumer spending on music this year, with Nigeria and Kenya following at some distant second and third positions with $43 million and $19 million respectively. Clearly piracy is hurting business growth in the music industry in Nigeria and other African countries. Around the world, since Napster introduced music sharing, iTunes and now Spotify are redefining how to handle piracy in the music industry. African artists with their wonderful music will do well to employ technology to stave off pirates. The negative economic impact of piracy on music in Africa is monumental. It cuts the income of hardworking artists and works to raise barriers to entry for many new comers. As we have stated, music is big business around the world. And this is an arena where Africa can develop a good comparative advantage. With the way Africans like music and dancing, the people, along with the authorities should do more to see how music can be a catalyst and driver for economic development. At the EBS we are working on this. Our hidden economics for you.
Posted: May 24th, 2016 @ 07:50:51 AM