Nigeria’s Alex Okosi has taken over the reins at YouTube after his appointment as the Managing Director of Emerging Markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Prior to his appointment, Okosi was the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom/CBS Networks Africa and BET International.
Okosi will be taking over the YouTube business and partnership team in Europe, Middle East and Africa, to further drive the penetration of the video-on-demand platform in these locations, the Head of YouTube EMEA, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, said.
A statement by Frot-Coutaz said, “I look forward to welcoming Okosi to our YouTube EMEA leadership team. He brings a wealth of experience in the content industries and has a track record for building businesses and audiences in established and new markets. Okosi will be leading our existing teams in Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa (MEAN) to drive further expansion in these key markets.”
Okosi, while commenting his appointment, said, “I am very excited to be joining Frot-Coutaz’s leadership team to continue empowering creators and elevating value for viewers and partners across the region.”
Why YouTube is taking this step: YouTube has been investing heavily to grow its customer base in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Part of the investment included the emPawa initiative created in collaboration with singer, Mr Eazi.
emPawa is an initiative announced July last year (2019) at the annual Google for Nigeria event. It was created to support creatives and untapped talents in the music industry. The initiative is the platform that produced Joeboy, the ‘Beginning’ crooner, and supported about nine other talents.
Frot-Coutaz explained that the platform has helped increase the fan base of these artistes beyond sub-Saharan African. This was the purpose of the creation. She disclosed that 70% of the views from the 25 most-watched Sub-Saharan African artistes came from outside the continent. It should be noted that YouTube had launched YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in the Middle East and North Africa in September 2019.
Enormous opportunities for few players: The creation of these platforms shows there are still opportunities yet to be tapped in the music industry, and YouTube seems to be positioning itself to take advantage of the growing video music streaming industry in these regions. Unfortunately, unlike the audio-streaming market, the music-video streaming market is monopolised.
Currently, the video streaming music platform is monopolised by YouTube, and no other local or foreign music video streaming platform has come closer to shaking up its dominance. However, the music video streaming market is large for new entrants, and with YouTube offering artistes one of the lowest streaming royalty, new platforms can take advantage of this payment gap to penetrate the market.