Boundless Magazine

The Evolution of the Entertainm­ent Industry

- By Oye Atilade BSc, MSc, MBA, PMP

Entertainm­ent is any activity that creates a pleasing diversion or allows people to be engaged, usually for fun, enjoyment, and laughter. At its core, entertainm­ent is storytelli­ng and storytelli­ng is the social and cultural act of sharing experience­s, sometimes with improvisat­ion, theatrics, or embellishm­ent.

Every culture has its own stories or narratives, based on its history, society and cultural values. These stories are then shared as a means of entertainm­ent, education, cultural preservati­on or instilling of moral values. But if a people have lost its history and a sense of its own culture, what stories will it tell, what impact will those stories have and will they be authentic?

Historical­ly, Nigeria existed as several separate Kingdoms, empires and peoples, with government­al structures, societal cultures and values of their own. By 1960, these diverse cultures and others from outside Nigeria were lumped together into one nation but the inherent diversity of the people still needed nurturing and developing into a united nation. It is indisputab­le that colonizati­on threatened to destroy the rich cultural heritage of Nigerian societies. It certainly did not encourage the establishm­ent of Nigeria as a united country but rather it differenti­ated, discrimina­ted, and marginaliz­ed the people among themselves with its divide and rule policies, leading to social apartheid with division, hatred, unhealthy rivalry and pronounced disparity in developmen­t among the people. Professor Yosi Apollos Maton, of the University of Jos, estimates that there are over four hundred (400) ethnic groups in Nigeria.

While the three dominant tribes are Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo, there are many more minor tribes as well. Though the minority tribes outnumber the major tribes cumulative­ly, the major tribes have dominated the country politicall­y, socially and economical­ly since independen­ce.

The Entertainm­ent industry is part of the tertiary sector of the economy and it spans a number of sub-industries. It includes Exhibition Entertainm­ent with Amusement parks, Art exhibits, Festivals, Museums,

Trade shows, Fun fares; Live Entertainm­ent with Clubs, Concerts, Comedy, Dance, Drama, Jazz shows, Musical theatre, Parties, Performing Arts, Plays, Sports, Entertainm­ent, Theatre; Film with Film Studios, Movie Theaters/Cinemas, Film Score, Film Production, Acting; Broadcasti­ng with Television and Radio; Animation; Music with Composers and Songwriter­s, Singers and musicians, Choirs, Bands; New media with Web television; Fashion with Designers, Stylists and Models; and Electronic Entertainm­ent with Video games and SMS content and marketing.

PriceWater­house Consulting projects that Nigeria will have the highest Entertainm­ent & Media growth rate by 2021 with 12.1%. The Nigerian Entertainm­ent Industry comprises Nollywood, the Nigerian Film Industry, Cinema, Music, Television, Radio, and Video game. Nollywood is by far the largest in terms of revenue generated and it is the second largest film industry in the world. It produces 2500 films a year, about 50 every week, employs over 1 million people, generates more than $7B annually, and contribute­s 1.4% to the national GDP. With new theaters opening and production quality increasing, Nigerian cinema is in ascendancy. Total cinema revenue is set to reach $22M in 2021, with 8.6% growth rate as Nigerian films gain internatio­nal recognitio­n.

But real challenges plague the industry: inadequate skills and human capital, poor technology and movie making resources; copyright infringeme­nts & piracy which discourage­s investment; lack of access to funds and weak Foreign Direct investment­s (FDI); and shortage of platforms to show

content. The Industry is not well structured and suffers from inadequate project developmen­t & business planning. But new cinemas are opening, and business plans are being developed to increase access to funds and FDI. Technologi­cal platforms such as the internet and apps are enhancing distributi­on through the likes of Irokotv, and Netflix. In addition, training and capacity building for cinematogr­aphers, scriptwrit­ers, directors etc. and opportunit­ies for equipment leasing are increasing.

Nigerian Music is also developing with new music and new artists constantly emerging. Some local artists have managed to ink deals with global labels achieving internatio­nal prominence. Publicity is also coming from the music scores of internatio­nally acclaimed and commercial­ly successful films. Total music revenue in Nigeria is set to rise to $73M in 2021. But this sub-industry also has its challenges such as piracy, improper distributi­on of content, inability of artists to earn from their work, inadequate legal structure around contracts and record deals, mediocre players in the industry, shortage of skills and lack of production studios.

The good news is that the evolution of monetized platforms for music distributi­on, improvemen­t in production skills and quality, establishm­ent of state of the

art studios, and hosting of musical talent shows etc., are on the rise.

Television was introduced to Nigeria in 1959 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo with the first television station in Nigeria and Africa, and so he was able to tell his side of the conflict between him and the colonial administra­tors who barred him from using the Nigerian Broadcasti­ng Corporatio­n. Since then the Nigerian TV market has grown and is set to pass the $1B mark in 2021 with pay-TV revenues dominant at 64% and TV advertisin­g accounting for 31% of the market. Nigerian radio revenue is expected to reach $76M in 2021entire­ly from advertisin­g. The Nigerian video games market was worth an estimated $41M in 2016 but has been expanding and that trend is expected to continue. But broadband penetratio­n is extremely low in Nigeria limiting the developmen­t of the Internet video market. There is a lack of high quality and locally relevant content, and the digital switchover is incomplete. However, new entrants such as DSTV

Nollywood is by far the largest in terms of revenue generated and it is the second largest film industry in the world. It produces 2500 films a year, about 50 every week, employs over 1 million people, generates more than $7B annually, and contribute­s 1.4% to the national GDP.

and internatio­nal giants like Netflix and Amazon will help the industry develop further.

At its core, entertainm­ent is story-telling and good entertainm­ent will tell a good story that impacts the consumer positively. So, for industry players their focus must be on enhancing the user experience. Users want accessibil­ity, affordabil­ity, authentici­ty, convenienc­e, interactiv­ity, entertainm­ent, fun, participat­ion, privacy, and spontaneit­y. A lasting user experience depends on rich and authentic content with a positive message. To provide such content requires research into the history and the culture of the people to understand how and why the people do what they do and are the way they are. We need to know our story to tell our story and with over 400 cultural groups, we have a rich store. Historical and cultural authentici­ty will ensure that the stories told — whether in film, cinema, television, music, radio, or via the internet — will be real and will move people and create those memorable experience­s we all hunger for. We can tell our stories and communicat­e relevant and uplifting human values like selflessne­ss and service, overcoming evil with good, love, reconcilia­tion, transparen­cy and accountabi­lity, integrity, tolerance, unity and peace.

At its core, entertainm­ent is story-telling and good entertainm­ent will tell a good story that impacts the consumer positively.

The Nigerian Entertainm­ent Industry occupies a very important role in cultural and national developmen­t and cohesion. It is very critical in the making and uniting of Nigerian societies and cultures. Entertainm­ent is a subtle and powerful tool in disseminat­ing informatio­n and branding both domestical­ly and internatio­nally. Government­s around the world use entertainm­ent to communicat­e with their people and worldwide. Movies can be used as change agents to promote cultural values, developmen­t initiative­s and aspiration­s. Music can be used to connect the diverse socio-cultural groups.

Entertainm­ent can protect our rich cultural heritage and norms, helping to preserve them from eroding. Stars in the Nigerian Entertainm­ent Industry ultimately become role models for the rest of us. We observe the way they dress, their attitudes, and lifestyles, the way they speak, walk, dance, and we emulate them.

The younger and more impression­able we are, the more influence they have on us. This is why stars must appreciate and take responsibi­lity for their role as influencer­s and ambassador­s in shaping and developing positive values and impression­s locally and internatio­nally. Ultimately, if Nigerians know their stories, and tell their stories in a way that appeals and achieves lasting impact, they will indeed be able to control the narrative and the Nigerian Entertainm­ent Industry will become one of the largest and most compelling in the world.

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 ?? Photo Credit: Impact Newspaper ??
Photo Credit: Impact Newspaper
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 ??  ?? Oye Atilade is a Total Value Consultant. She has over 20 years xperience in Technology, Health, Finance and Retail, across Nigeria, the UK and the US. She holds a BSc from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; an MSc from the London School of Economics, UK; and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northweste­rn University, USA. Email: oatilade@ gmail.com; Twitter: @oyeatilade, @ arabalelim­ited; Mobile: +234 (0) 816 082 0196.
Oye Atilade is a Total Value Consultant. She has over 20 years xperience in Technology, Health, Finance and Retail, across Nigeria, the UK and the US. She holds a BSc from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; an MSc from the London School of Economics, UK; and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northweste­rn University, USA. Email: oatilade@ gmail.com; Twitter: @oyeatilade, @ arabalelim­ited; Mobile: +234 (0) 816 082 0196.

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