Africa’s biggest music channel, MTV Base is advising Ghanaian artistes to market, brand themselves and collaborate with other artistes on the continent to get airplay.
This, the channel explained, will give them the needed exposure and also break Nigeria’s dominance on the music station.
Over the years, several countries, including Ghana, have expressed concern about the total dominance of Nigerian content on local radio and televisions.
Recently some Kenyan musicians demonstrated calling for a total ban on Nigerian music on their airways.
Currently, Nigerian music enjoys massive airplay, far more than music from any other part of the continent on MTV Base. The channel has attributed this to ratings and Nigeria’s huge market size.
With an estimated population of 182 million, MTV Base says businesswise, Africa’s most populous nation is their major source of income.
Tim Horwood, Channel Director for MTV Base answering a question at the Viacom Media Round Table Friday, as part of activities lined up for this year’s MultiChoice Africa Content Showcase Extravaganza in Mauritius, said Nigeria is enjoying airplay because of business realities.
“Honestly, you also have to look at some of the business realities that we face as brands and you also have to look at where your biggest audiences are. In an ideal world, I would love to represent every single country on the continent but you kind of have to do it as a phased approach. The goal is to get to that point to be able to say that every single country in Africa is represented,” but budget challenges will allow that for now.
He added that, “You have to cater to the biggest numbers and the reality is when you carry it on MutiChoice platform, the biggest numbers sit on those two countries (Nigeria and South Africa) so you obvious have to skew towards those two countries.”
Tim told Myjoyonline.com in an interview that Ghanaian artistes can break Nigeria’s dominance by marketing themselves to becoming relevant outside their territory.
“If there is someone who is so big, makes themselves relevant outside of their territory,” the channel will be forced to play that artiste’s songs.
He cited one of East Africa’s biggest acts, Tanzanian Diamond Platnumz as an example saying, “he made himself relevant in Nigeria, he made himself relevant in South Africa so now we play it because it’s like obvious, our viewers know who he is, they like him.”
“He is clever enough to collaborate with people out of his territory so now he is relevant in Nigeria so we can play it and not worry about people tuning off,” Tim added.
He was, however, quick to say that contrary to reports, Ghanaian music does enjoy airplay on MTV Base. “Ghana music is very firmly on our playlist.”
The future plan for the music channel, the MTV Base boss said, is to venture into other countries and “we are looking for funding so we can create local content.”
Ghana currently has no representative on MTV Base and artistes in the country submit their videos to the music channel through their Nigeria office in Lagos.
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