Who Sony Music Epp?
In 2015, Sony Music knocked on Nigeria's door looking for fresh African acts to export to the world.
The music group wielded contracts designed to suit the needs of each artiste - Davido and Wizkid got recording deals, while Tekno got a three-single recording deal and Ycee got contracted to release and distribute his EP.
These deals signed meant that the artistes were stuck in the rigidity associated with an organized label structure which is a complete contrast to the Nigerian music industry.
The norm in the West African country sees independent structure give artistes flexibility and control of their music.
For example, for the song 'Manya' featuring Muntay, Wizkid could not put the song on his personal Youtube page, or make a video for the song, and the video was taken off his Vevo and Starboy accounts due to his contract with Sony.
The contract allegedly places a limitation on the amount of local content he can release.
Due to the hold Sony Music had over their music, Davido’s ‘Son Of Mercy’ EP and Wizkid's 'Sounds From The Other Side' had their sounds changed, mainly to appeal to the foreign market.
Davido did not sound like himself and Wizkid may have been forced to sound like a Jamaican.
Then there was the distribution contract with Ycee's Tinny entertainment which was unceremoniously ended.
Davido's EP was a critical failure locally and according to data gotten from Chart Data, 'Sounds From The Other Side' sold a meager 6,286 units in its first week in the US.
While in Nigeria, Davido and Wizkid didn't get to sell their music in the local markets and platforms for a long time after they penned deals.
Without the ability to sell their music in the local market, these Sony Artistes may have lost millions in local revenue.
But Sony Music has tried to amend their stringent regulations.
Micheal Ugwu, the General Manager of Sony Music in West Africa while speaking to Bounce News said:
"After 3 years of negotiating we have been able to sign off a deal with MTN music plus, Nigeria's largest digital music distribution platform.
"The deal was signed in November 2017, there is now international music content on the platform including our Davido and Wizkid
"It makes the market more competitive. It took a long time because there were a lot of technical and commercial discussions around it".
He also told Bounce News that Sony Music were learning and finding ways to form stronger bonds with the music industry.
"Going forward, Sony Music plans to support the music ecosystem and work with all the local players," he added.