As a member of the Charting Team at Playdata, it is one of my duties to notice peculiarities in patterns and discuss them with my colleagues, and I have noticed that the buying habits of Nigerians on iTunes is very bizarre. Before I continue, take a look at the Top Ten iTunes Songs as of this exact moment (12:55 PM, April 6th, 2017):
As a side note, the chart shows the top 100 songs on iTunes currently as measured by Apple themselves, and looking at the top ten, it all makes sense. until we get to number 3…and 4…and all the way down to number 10.
Well, it’s the 4th month of the year, and so far, two major albums have dropped in Nigeria so far in addition to other EPs. [pullquote]What are old songs like “Hello”, “FourFiveSeconds”, and “Woju (Remix)” still doing on the Nigerian iTunes Top 10?[/pullquote] Korede Bello’s “Belloved”, and Cobhams Asuquo’s “For You” are very high profile albums in Nigeria, if you ask me, and the labels behind them are very thorough at this publishing business. So WHY are NONE of their songs in the Top Ten on iTunes in Nigeria? Or even the Top 20? Don’t believe me? Check the Charts here: PDC ITunes Charts (Nigeria).
So I have my own theories, and feel free to let me know yours in the comments below but first, a few addenda (addendums?). The “Belloved” album was released for free and is streaming on Spotify and the Youtubes, and the one song Korede Bello has in the iTunes Top Ten isn’t even a main track on the album.
Have Nigerian album makers turned away from the iTunes revenue model so quickly? It seems now that more artistes prefer to release their music to directly “monetizable” platforms like YouTube and Spotify where the streams either have more significant numbers or directly translate to direct cash to pocket.
It also seems that Nigerian artistes just want to release music they can perform at venues as the barriers to purchasing seem to mount up on main stream distribution platforms like iTunes and the Google play store; and the big score seems to be focused on signing a deal with an international record company like RCA Records/Sony Music international in order to make “Real Money”.
What is the real monetary difference? How much time and effort does a Nigerian artiste have to put into their PR machine for their albums to do well in legit local markets? What are old songs like “Hello”, “FourFiveSeconds”, and “Woju (Remix)” still doing on the Nigerian iTunes Top 10?
I actually have NO idea. I’m hoping someone can help me out in the comments section based off my observations.