In previous blog posts, I have aired my opinion on promoting your music on radio stations in Lagos. In this blog post, I want to expand on that opinion. This is going to be a relatively short post, but I will preface it by saying that as an underground afrobeats artist with a limited budget, LAGOS IS THE WORST PLACE TO START YOUR RADIO PROMOTION VENTURE. Here are the three major reasons why.
#1. It’s VERY Competitive
I’m sure that as an afrobeats artist from Nigeria, you’ve probably wanted to promote your song on the radio and thought to yourself, “Lagos will be the best place to start; it’s the biggest city and that’s where most of the celebrities live”. While the second half of that statement is true, EVERY OTHER AFROBEATS ARTIST IS THINKING THE SAME THING. This means that you’re competing with thousands of other artists for ad space on radio stations in one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria. And I’m not even talking about the A-list afrobeat artists that have the money, connections, and the clout to destroy your promotion efforts. I’ll explain more on the A-list artists later, but for now, just understand that the high level of competition in Lagos can only mean one thing…
#2. It is VERY Expensive
I cannot stress this enough; the massive scramble for airplay on Lagos radio stations makes them ridiculously expensive. Let me put this in perspective for you; in a previous post, I’ve explained that when you are promoting your music on the radio, you want to make sure that you are promoting on the top 3-5 radio stations in the city of your choosing. If you want to apply this strategy in Lagos, a N1million budget might barely scratch the surface, especially if you’re outside the country and don’t have any sort of name in the city of Lagos. Now, imagine paying that amount of money and still having the OAPs be jerks to you. For less than a quarter of that amount, you’ll get massive airplay and hype in almost any other city in Nigeria.
#3. For your first track, it will be ineffective
Remember the A-list artists I talked about in reason #1? If it’s your first track you’re promoting in Lagos, you’ll get crushed by these artists. As sad as this is going to sound, all the radio stations in Nigeria are focused on these A-listers. This is because with the amount of fame and clout that the A-listers have, the roles are usually reversed and the radio stations are using these artists’ songs to promote their brand. But for an afrobeats artist with a very small fan base like yourself, you need the radio stations far more than they need you, and this is why you have to offer them money for airplay. However, in Lagos, there’s an added layer of challenges for you because of the high prices and the huge competition. Sometimes, you’re promised that your song will be played during peak hours, but then it gets played at midnight when no one is listening to the radio, and you’ll be lucky if you can even get a shoutout/interview from an OAP, which is something that I always advise you to do. This goes back to the competition issue; there are just too many artists clamoring for Lagos radio airplay that the stations cannot keep up with the demand. But, being Lagosians, they still want your money, so they’ll jack up their prices and under-deliver on service.
So what does that whole explanation mean for you as an upcoming afrobeats artist? It means that in Lagos, you’re paying a lot more money for a much more subpar service. As such, you’re better off spending much less and getting more value for your money in cities like Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Ibadan, and Benin.
I hope you found this post helpful. Lagos is very competitive and expensive, so if you’re a new artist, promoting there will be very ineffective for you. Let me know in the comments if you think I missed something or if you’d like me to discuss a particular topic for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and share with anyone else who might find this helpful. Keep working and I’ll be back with another post next week Friday!