When talking about the music industry in anyplace, what comes to mind is the glamour, fame, and wealth that comes with it.
Because of this, many people are trying to make it in the industry. Who wouldn’t? I wish, I was a
Luxury cars, mansions, fine dining, fashion trends, the spotlight. It’s a dream for most people. Besides passion, this is what attracts most people to the industry.
To many in the industry, all this is a reality and not a dream. after a concert or tour, most of these take home a cheque with six figures, and so they can afford the lifestyle.
But ever since the Covid19 pandemic, like many sectors, the music industry has been greatly affected. but artists in other regions are still doing well, unlike those in the East African region.
Why are most East African artists complaining due to the lockdown? One would think that they are
supposed to be well off.
But after looking at the state of the music industry in East Africa, I get why I shouldn’t compare them to
artists in other regions.
If it wasn’t for the pandemic, the music industry in East Africa would be thriving right now, with
thousands of concerts and events all across the region.
It would be a time to earn a living for most artists, because they depend on the concerts and events as a
form of revenue from their music.
In East Africa, most people support artists, through attending their concerts and inviting them for
events. because of this many artists in the region, are reluctant to diversify their revenue streams.
Why would you care to diversify? when you have got gigs to perform at throughout the week. I bet few
artists would really care.
But now due to the Covid19 pandemic, there is a lockdown in the whole region and because of this
events, shows, and other forms of gatherings can’t happen, so what’s next for the music industry?
There is only one thought that comes to my mind “Diversification”, artists need to rethink and diversify
their revenue streams.
As our artists are crying, due to losses made because of the canceled concerts and events happening. In
other places despite the same issues they are still earning money from their work.
So, the lock down lesson for artists in East Africa, is too diversify their revenue streams. How then
do artists diversify?
One can diversify by making their music available on streaming platforms, selling music and signed
merchandise online, making music available for use in movies and series, endorsement deals and many
And through these, one can earn, without even performing at a concert.
“But this is East Africa, people don’t stream or buy music online” many say and believe, but this is a
One thing I believe, is that you give us the fans less credit, you don’t know
what your fans a capable of.
And so, instead of thinking for your fans, give them more credit. The people you see in the audience at
your concert put in a lot.
The next time you perform, at your concert. You should know, that someone in the audience saved money, another
borrowed, one even bought a new dress, shirt, and shoes just to attend your show.
it’s crazy, but some fans even fight and have endless arguments defending you.
So, I bet buying and streaming your music for a few shillings, isn’t that hard.
If artists only put in half the energy, they use in advertising and promoting concerts. to push people to
buy and stream their music online, they wouldn’t be complaining right now.
Still on advertising and promoting, artists should capitalize on their reach through endorsement deals.
Most artists have an extensive reach, better than what most advertising and marketing agencies offer.
You shouldn’t just wait for deals to come your way. approach the companies, and show them how
valuable you are to them.
With the followers, most artists have on social media and the number of turnups at
events, I bet no company would think twice to work with you.
In no time, you would earn like an established marketing agency. Trust me, that’s where the money is.
All in all, it takes time and a lot of work to diversify, looking at the state of the music industry in East
Africa. And I salute the few who are already doing it.
It may not be of great benefit for artists starting out, but for those who are already established, it is the
best way to get great value for your work.
So, if you are to learn one lesson, from the lockdown. it is to embrace diversification in the music