There is a shift from the traditional means through which we consume entertainment to a more convenient and social medium. Since the new medium is more convenient and interesting than the traditional, in the future, it will replace what we know today as media consumption.
Mobile and digital entertainment technologies are gradually making their way into Africa and the artists and entertainers are quick to jump on the wagon in order to get their names and works out there. With convenience, consumers’ money will move from buying CDs (traditional consumption) to streaming from their mobile phones, the web and soon renting storage space on cloud services to store their entertainment and access it from their cars and other digital platforms.
This shift will definitely favor online marketing and promotion savvy entertainers and the best thing; the Global playing field would be leveled. Works by African artists would be accessible and easily sold globally due to ease and low cost of distribution of new media.
The main problem African artists and producers are facing is the problem of piracy. Illegal CD copies of their copyright materials are made and sold in huge quantities without any royalties being paid or even their consent. Even though p2p sharing and other pirate applications have given the web a bad name as far as music and movie studios are concerned, digital media and the web have a declining rate of piracy thanks to new Internet startups like Spotify and Pandora offering users music for free and making money off advertisement which they share with the record labels. This model and also paid music subscription models would decrease online piracy significantly in the very near future and digital will soon be the main money source for the music industry.
The bottom-line is, the money is in new media and the earlier African entertainers take advantage and make a name for themselves out there, the easier it would be for them to earn in the near future. The only problem is, African artists have to really focus on quality entertainment content in order to compete in the Global multi-billion dollar entertainment market share. I know we have what it takes here in Africa.