The Awards, The Music & The Value Chain – Part 1 The Awards, The Music & The Value Chain – Part 1
It’s awards night at your ‘favorite’ youth urban radio stations music awards night and everybody is arriving at the GICC for a night of... The Awards, The Music & The Value Chain – Part 1

It’s awards night at your ‘favorite’ youth urban radio stations music awards night and everybody is arriving at the GICC for a night of celebration; a celebration of music and the people involved in its creation and in some categories those around them. It’s been a tough journey building up to this moment for many, one that started with hustling for studio time for some, finding the right producer for others, hopefully agreeing on payment terms for a few or terms of release and then a few weeks or months later a song or two dropping in the summer of 2017 with while some barely make it into the captive basket of the winter of 2018 to qualify for award season. Money has been spent in the recording, branding, packaging and distribution of some of your favorite songs, some of which you’ve got on your mobile for free as we speak (isn’t that nice, a free product for everyone).

Commitment, consistency and raw talent have been a few of the traits possessed by most of those who have kept the product churning out of the machine and for a few this has resulted in actual business or commercialization i.e. actual monetary or value related activity equalling business in the music industry – a huge opportunity filled space that still struggles to boom in our beloved Botswana.

On this night, it is clear early on that the artists have done a stellar job in getting their music out, the fans have been voting over the station’s SMS line ($$$), the fashion designers and stylists have done their best to get everybody suited-up proper (and made a bit of business while they were at that ($$$)), the emcees have long been confirmed (and dare we say, paid up ($$$)) because one of them has been the main hook for the marketing and making of this event, the production has to be world class and the lights in the room point to a world class stage ($$$), the musicians are arriving in style courtesy of sponsor X ($$$) who you wouldn’t normally catch associating with the music creators themselves but hey, if there’s value to be milked then many-a-brand are won’t be apologizing for showing up on this one special night…it’s just business after all.

There’s clearly some value being exchanged around music and the creator/musician’s product during the campaign and mostly highlighted on a night like this one by the glitz and glam associated with it all. It would seem that that value gained will somehow elude the main product’s creators as most of these Pula’s spent around and award show and the night itself will go towards the event owners and their suppliers – i’m not pointing fingers but surely the central product’s originator has to be the prime beneficiary around music on music award night.

How can the industry change this lack of ability to monetize around their own product? How can we ensure that artists don’t simply congregate on a night as glorious as the ‘winter’s coming’ and make a concerted effort to share more of the Pula value with the artists?

We continue this piece in part 2 by exploring what it means to be doing business by category and examine opportunity by the winner’s and some nominees in the hope it will benefit generation next. Read part 2 here

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Obakeng Kokwe Editor in Chief

Obakeng is a music enthusiast, writer, all-round creative, entertainment entrepreneur, music producer, thought leader and a digital media boundary pusher. He has been actively involved in the development of the urban arts scene for over 15 years and often writes about matters affecting the entertainment industry while giving commentary on progressing the digital media industry