The story of Nollywood is a story of resilience and growth amidst many pains. The industry is beset by many problems which are stifling its growth, choking operators there out of business, and killing creativity. Piracy is still raging like a bull. The market is not well structured; the marketing and distributive structures are weak; there is no government or institutional support; there is shortage of intellectual property professionals and poor knowledge of copyright laws by artistes, authors, and producers of entertainment products.
Low capacity building has marginalised returns in this industry inNigeria, while a poor sectoral linkage is undermining creative and marketing efforts. The growth of the market is un-coordinated, largely driven by the entrepreneurial zeal of artistes who are determined to survive, and traders with excess cash to invest in the business. Banks do not find the industry attractive. But there is ray of hope with the coming of Ecobank into Nollywood, the brand name for Nigeria’s movie industry.
Quacks who simply want to survive the hard times inNigeriahave invaded the industry, diluting standards and professionalism. Training and ethics are just beginning to creep into the industry. Increasing unemployment and hardship is pushing a lot of youths into crime, piracy and other illegal business, while impoverished Nigerians are patronising low-priced pirated goods. In the bid to make quick money, many intellectual property owners do not properly brand and protect their works.
- There are no proper distribution channels to get the music to the consumer and also track record sales.
- Piracy has increased exponentially due to new technology. There are at least 15 world class illegal duplicating plants operating withinLagosand robbing the industry of its gains.
- Music industry people do not understand the peculiarities of the music business and need to be educated and trained; workshops for capacity building must be created and stimulated.
- The two music collecting societies (MCSN & PMRS) have failed to protect interests of artistes due to squabbling over who have legitimacy or supremacy. This has led to loss of royalties for artistes and NCC’s biased role in the imbroglio has not resolved the problem.
- The Performing Musicians Association ofNigeria(PMAN), the biggest music association inNigeriais also torn by internal politics and has failed to cater to the needs of artistes.
- A key issue is financing for the industry. Music has no source of financing except by the individual efforts. Corporate bodies’ especially financial institutions only exploit artistes for their short term gains. They do not have plans to create financial packages for music promotion and development. There is no regulatory body to administer the music industry which has led to lack of standards in the industry.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com