The Covid-19 pandemic has hit nearly every sector hard and Uganda’s music industry is no exception. The sector has greatly suffered given that it is an industry that relies mostly on performances, concerts and other forms of entertainment. Against this backdrop, there is a huge opportunity that remains unharnessed by the major actors in the music industry.
Worldwide, billions of money was remitted to artistes and content creators from various streaming platforms for their intellectual property. If this was properly utilised, most celebrated artistes would not have complained about lack of funds. The traditional ways of getting money by staging shows/concerts have been affected by the pandemic.
The YouTube generates some money for Ugandan artistes although many don’t partake in sharing from this commonwealth. As we say, data is now the new oil, hence there must be a paradigm shift in order to maximise the new normal. In an attempt to compete with the global trend, the structure that makes up the industry should improve their craft in order to be able to reap big.
In order to be put in our place of pride, we must create content that has market not just within East Africa, but also to the rest of the world. There should be a blend of our uniqueness in line with global trends if we must sell our product to the world. You do not expect the world full of trends to consume a sound that wasn’t properly mastered or a poorly shot video. Reliance on the Ugandan market limits the creativity, reach and financial gains.
Uganda is a small country with many artistes. Therefore, it is time the artistes thought outside the box. They should upgrade their works to the global stage in order to go shoulder to shoulder with their Tanzanian or better still the Nigerian counterparts who are currently dominating the music market. And the best way our voices can be heard is through the use of the Internet. Whenever low turnout in streaming platforms are mentioned, people tend to urge the government to waive tax on social media platforms.
Artistes should form a common frontand come up with one voice and demand opens the Internet.
The writer, Mr. Avay Ogbeifun Ehiagwinah is the CEO of Blacq Avay Records and Entertainment, an events promoter, and a professional accountant.