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Why Nigerian Music Videos Cost So Much

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The Nigerian Music Industry has transformed over the years, evidence is the quality of videos that are now key components of such transformation.

In the 90s not too many people could lay claim to listening to Nigerian Rnb or hip hop songs, not to talk of sitting down to watch a 3 minute video laced with bare bone productions.

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It is a well-known fact that Music videos are now as important as the songs in reaching new markets and sustaining the tempo of air play. With the increase in smartphone usage and cheaper internet data, the ability to view videos online (Youtube) and download the latest videos from sites like Tooxclusive.com and Notjustok.com has never been easier.

Why Are Music Videos Important to Artistes?

There are 2 major ways through which music videos help artists:

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  • Exposure
  • Revenue

Typically music videos are produced and released in the early stage of a songs’ release cycle, intended to drive exposure through additional channels for fans to consume, whether they are shown on TV, or streamed in a public area.

When brands enter the picture and strategically place products in music videos, it can produce a new revenue stream for the artiste while also building exposure for the brand. (Nielsen.com)

What Does A Standard Music Video Production Budget Cover?

A standard Nigerian video can cost between N2 million and N10 million depending on the production budget of the artiste.

A standard and top quality video production budget covers the following but not limited to the following:

  • Concept development
  • Casting
  • On-camera talent
  • Pre-production
  • Choreography
  • Rehearsals
  • Location fees
  • Props
  • Costumes
  • Production equipment
  • Production crew
  • Editing
  • Visual effects
  • Color correction
  • Video encoding
  • Digital delivery

So What Changed the Nigeria Music Video Scene?

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With the breakthrough in Nigerian music crossing borders and foreigners beginning to appreciate our music better, the Nigerian artistes caught the buzz and improved the quality of videos. However this wasn’t done without some notable names.

Enter Clarence Peters who took over the market around 2005/06. He changed the face of the Nigerian videos. What Clarence Peters had that others before him like DJ Tee didn’t have was a good Camera, in fact he was a very good Camera handler which was his unique selling point.

Most Nigerian videos made use of the Mac3 or Mac2 years back, but Peters was the first to use the D7 camera. With time other producers followed suit and consequently the quality of videos improved.

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Davido Meek Mill Video

Reasons Why Nigeria Videos Cost Much

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Concept: Some Directors have their own in-house creative services department with a team of writers, directors and designers who help develop creative options for the artistes to choose from. This will definitely cost money.

For example DJ Tee directed the ‘Eniduro’ which shot Olamide to limelight. In the video Olamide wore 25 different outfits and in addition the video was in black and white.

Technology: Nigerian videos are now advanced and producers have moved from using Coma shoots/ Greenhouse effect where the video is shot in one house or location. With the aid of Cameras like D7 used by producers to shoot videos, this has driven up the cost of videos shootings. This is because some of these cameras are quite expensive and require efficient maintenance.

Logistics, Wardrobe, and Props: These items determine the look of the video, and their importance cannot be overstated in terms of the final product.

Good locations can be expensive, and sometimes even requires existing relationships. Even free locations end up costing money. It is easily noticeable that lots of Nigerian artists travel to places like South Africa, Dubai, America to shoot videos and the locations used in these places require lots of money.

Ash Hamman a UAE-based Nigerian-born artist is reported to have shot the most expensive video in the Emirates. The video gulped a whooping DH850, 000. The money was spent to rent flashy cars, luxurious yachts and beautiful girls.

He said “I want to make a statement. Let me do what everybody is doing, but do it on a larger scale. I said ok, people want to use one Lamborghini? I want five (5) Lamborghinis. People want to use five (5) choppers? I want seven (7) choppers. People want one (1) girl? I got seven (7) girls.”

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For his video, he ended up using 13 exotic cars, 3 yachts and 40 female models.

The Cast and Crew: A great music video requires lots of talented people. A shoot generally involves at least 7-10 production professionals. These people work on day rates and sometimes bring their creativity and scripts on how they want the video to look like.

For example when Clarence peters shot the video for ‘Ghostmode’ Olamide ft Phyno. An eye-witness who was at the making of the video confirmed that about 10 tankers of water and flowers were used during the shoot.

Availability of resources: Much more money is flowing in the music industry with artists selling millions of albums, million dollar sponsorship deals from the top companies in the land. Lots of these money is spent on music videos to keep pleasing the fans and maintaining the make-believe lifestyle these artists live.

Olu Maintains’ ‘Enuf Effizi’ has been claimed to be the most expensive music video. Olu Maintain has been a big player in the game for a long time and has the resources to spend so much. In the video he used a Private Jet, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and expensive PROFESSIONAL models.

P square has one of the highest selling albums in the country and also generate the highest revenue from shows for any African artist or group. They have featured American Rapper Rick Ross in their video shot in the US on a yacht. We all know how much it is to feature a foreign “A” list artist, then to also get him to appear on the video also. This would cost as much as $30,000 in cash.

P Square Rick Ross

Experience and Connection of Producer/Director: Only a handful of people know that Clarence Peters worked on the set of TV Programme Everyday People as Assistant Director, then he went to South Africa, came back and had a deal with TV Station Soundcity. The deal was that for every of the video he directs, he has a playing slot on the station. This also helps drive his price because Nigerian Artists know that once he directs their videos the chances of their videos being aired is higher.

Sesan, another famous Producer who shoots all of Mavin records videos has his style. He doesn’t shoot low budget videos and wouldn’t want to work with the Artists budget, even if the artist has over 1 million Naira.

Conclusively, a major factor attributed to the expensive nature of producing videos here in Nigeria or anywhere is the excuse artistes give concerning the exchange rate between the naira and the dollar. They argue that if the Federal Government gives the same or better treatment as the one given to pilgrims as it affects the exchange rate, their bills will be minimal in producing music videos.

 

Olamide

Patricia

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. barbarictimes

    October 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Dear Segun, we have to get things very clear before we post them out to the public as educational, informative, or enlightenment material. Your article has a lot of facts, but there are some points we must clarify on.

    Shortly after Olusegun Obasanjo became President of Nigeria in 1999, he put a rule that all television content on Nigerian media stations must be majority of Nigerian content, and spared about 30% broadcast time only for foreign content. Now, making these rules and laws was nothing new to Nigeria, except for the first time in decades, it was enforced.

    Television stations like STV which had dwelt on televising strictly Hollywood movies and American shows had to first switch to live interview programs, and church programs, then they gradually started producing their own Nigerian TV shows, and eventually, just demanded content from whoever had them. Radio stations like Cool FM and Rhythm which were almost totally feeding on foreign music, they had to start desperately requesting submissions from Nigerian musicians.

    At this point, there was hardly any improvement in the quality of the music videos and music production till February 2005, when MTV Base Africa landed and started requesting Nigerian music videos, with a promise to pay up to $250 per play as long as they quality of videos received met some certain standards of quality. This was the real game-changer for the quality and price of music video produced in Nigeria.

    PSquare jumped on this offer, Olu Maintain, D’Banj, Darey, and all who could afford it, and that was maintained all through the years till when the guys MTV Nigeria decided to renege, but the Nigerian artists had grown too big to go back to what they used to obtain in the industry.

    I believe if African Magic had demanded similar standards for accepting movies which they would pay to broadcast, the standard of Nollywood movies would have been at par with the Nigerian music videos.

    Anyway, the reason Clarence Peters took over the video production scene in Nigeria was his focus, and delivery time. With DJ Tee and Wudi Awa back then, who were the megaliths of music video production, you had no clue when your product would be finished. At about 2006, they were already charging up to a million Naira for a music video, but when clients would receive the finished product, only God knew. Sometimes it took months. They were charging higher than Clarence Peters, but Clarence Peters was shooting more videos, branding them with his logo, delivering in weeks, and getting them on air. At the end of the day, he became the better choice. It wasn’t about the camera he used, but the general work ethic.

    CHAI! I have written an entire article. Let me stop here.

    • Nairametrics

      October 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

      Dear barbarictimes, Thank you for the salient and enlightening points you have raised. I would like to state that I believe my view point is by no means exhaustive, Notwithstanding my article was about why the music videos cost much, and I stand bold to say that most of the videos in the past weren’t of high quality and pleasing to the eye partly due to the type of camera used. The use of D7 which is more expensive than the previous cameras used definitely aided the rise in the cost of videos.

  2. Charles Obuse

    January 25, 2016 at 4:46 am

    May I, if you please, make a few corrections here.
    speaking of reasons why music videos became quite pricey?
    it was never because the canon eos 7D costs more than the cameras in use before its time, because it actually isn’t. Up till today, the sony jvc and Panasonic range of camcorders still cost more than the canon 7D.
    With Professionals comes Expertise and Professional charges. This was what came into the game, as against what it was in the previous years you mentioned.
    You certainly did a good job of listing these professionals in the chain-process. Do leave it at that.
    Dslrs actually brought down the costs of making HD videos from where the RED ONE CAMERA took it to.
    And if I remember correctly, the actual game changer was Gino with his NO BE GOD video that was No 1 on Mtv Base for over 4 months for obvious reasons, and made we other artiste realize it was time to step-up or be left-out of the World stage.
    My submissions here are not my opinion but facts. Ask even Clarence Peters if you want…(just an instance)…or anybody wey don tey for dis game, wey sabi wetin dem dey do…wink!

  3. don climate

    July 13, 2016 at 1:23 am

    I want to shoot mind am an upcoming artiste the price is to high for me

  4. Adozuka Yushau

    August 22, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    @Don Climate I can shoot something great for you. Very affordable budget. Holla on WhatsApp let’s talk. 07039062170

  5. Ralph O

    September 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I am a soldier and also a musical artist. Am into Highlife Hip Hop. Please I will be very grateful if you reach me with Clarence Peters phone number. Thanks and may God bless you.

  6. Iretunde Adams

    May 27, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    You can holla me for affordable music video, music production and digital distribution. Call me on 08023480791.

  7. Anonymous

    July 25, 2017 at 3:55 am

    always get ur facts and dont be a mediocre,segun or whatever ur name is. this is an industry u have little or no experience about. eos 7d(APC sensor camera, non full frame) came b4 mkII and III(full frame cameras). try and be educative in ur write up. anything worth doing at all is worth perfections

  8. Anonymous

    October 7, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Nice contributions from all.
    Am Music Video director Febano. I shoot quality videos
    You can hook me up on 08188838780

  9. Anonymous

    March 15, 2018 at 6:11 am

    One of Nigerian fast rising music video director is director J. Whenever you see Director J on your TV screen, it’s an Joseph King popularly known as Director J-shot video.

    In recent times he has directed quite a number of videos for Nigerian music superstars as IYO, harmonise and Diamond Plantinum. The most recent of Director J’s works is IYO’s ‘Nakupenda’ video that was shot in November 2017. The director chose an appropriate location for the video shoot and created great montages to portray the image of a luxurious life.
    Director J-shot videos appear very simple and cost-efficient yet the content of songs are well-interpreted into good visuals. I strongly believe that soon his creativity will push the fast-rising director to a higher level.

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South African retailer, Shoprite International Limited says it will consider the potential sale of the majority stake of its Nigerian holdings, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited.

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Data War: MTN edges our Airtel for first time in 5 months as 493,556 subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile , MTN is winning the data war, as 1.88 million subscribers dump Glo, 9mobile, Data War: MTN gains 8.18 million subscribers in 2019, as Airtel edges Glo, 9mobile

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For instance, in May 2020, Glo took other operators by surprise, dwarfing them to lead the chart as the telco with the highest number of subscribers in a month when it gained 8.302 million data subscribers. The indigenous telco grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020, while MTN gained 4.75 million data subscribers. Airtel, which used to be the second-highest in subscriber growth after MTN, recorded 2.795 million. Unfortunately, 9mobile lost 812,827 subscribers within the same period.

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