Cameroon Digital Music Conference, a hoax?
Asides the Universal Music Open Day which I attended last week, I was also part of the Cameroon Digital Music Conference. Honestly, as from this time that I am writing down this post, I don’t know if the whole Idea is a hoax or reality.
This is an aside, but while live streaming this event briefly on Facebook same day, one comment I read which was a little disturbing was and I quote “25% internet penetration rate. And there is already a digital music conference?We are dreaming aswear”
For a second after reading that comment I was like we got to start from somewhere right? does it matter if we got just 25% internet penetration? but on the other end it also seems like time wastage.
Cameroon Digital Music Conference
Let’s talk about the event for a bit. Those present were French Bloggers,Boss of Ash4life, label to which Minks is signed, Boss of Bimstr (digital platform),Boss of Numerica,Boss of Big Dreams, Boss of Franko. My first question is, how is it possible that this thing was not called the French Entertainment Cameroon Digital Music Conference? From the people who were on the panel, I bet you already get my point, or is it that the English speaking entertainers did not just find it worthwhile? While the continuous segregation and Unhealthy competition?
The panelist were asked to share their experience in using the digital platforms to market their artists and how they made financial returns out of it. It is sad to say that, they were rather talking about their victory story and the Digital platform was just touched in passing as if to say it was the secondary. I mean, the BIg Dreams Boss did mention the use of hash tags for selling Locko’s art and all but is that it?. Don’t we need more statistics?
What Does IFPI values say?
Although global music revenue is still affected by piracy, the gap between digital and physical music revenue has widened. “Digital revenues grew 19.1% to $9.4 billion and, for the first time ever, accounted for over half (54%) of total recorded music industry revenues worldwide. The global surge in streaming was a key driver, up 41.1%, with paid subscription audio streams up 45.5%. Following a 20.5% decline in revenue, digital downloads accounted for 20% of global digital revenue overall,” IFPI said.
On the other hand, revenue from physical revenues has declined, said IFPI, “by 5.4%, a slightly higher rate than the previous year (4.4%). Consumption of physical formats declined in the majority of markets.”
It is sad that during the Digital Music Conference, The Boss of Franko who is now labeled a one hit wonder, was rather trying to talk down on the style with which Jovi used to sell his recent Album #GodDonKam. He claimed he will have made more money from a Cameroon streaming platform than selling an album for 1000fcfa that one man can download and share to the whole world. Just for the record, the streaming platform he talked about does not even exist.
It was clear to note that, there is no workable existing Digital Platform in Cameroon yet that artist can actually really make money from. YOU ARE probably going to tell me Mobile MOney and Orange Money. Any Guarantee that when I sell my music I still own it on these platform.Once someone buys it, they share to others right?
Many Cameroonian artists are not even registered to copyright companies like a veteran present at the conference highlighted. Even the use of Itunes, Spotify and other digital platforms still don’t pay in Cameroon with same value as it is for other Foreign artist because we definitely don’t have enough content on our platforms. How many people stream makossa online?
Any Solution to the Problem?
Unfortunately this was the simple question that the panelist could not outrightly answer to those present. Even a radio presenter got offended and walked out of the hall because he was not being answered. I still don’t understand why it was so hard for them to answer that and tell people that as far as Cameroon and Digital platform is concerned right now, everything money making on these platform is really just but a hoax as it is not entirely workable yet, However, it can be made to happen.
Boss of Ash4life clearly stated that his money is not through digital platforms.
This is a call for software developers in Cameroon to build musical platforms that are first and foremost money making for the artists (Not just for sales but also online streaming that is paid for), workable and sustainable.
Until then A Digital Music Conference will just be a gathering for chit chatting
Its your boy Caleb Karawa for Karawa Diary