Read more: #SMWLagos 2016: Noble Igwe, Toni tones, more at SBA Fashion Fix

Spinlet hosted a much needed conversation about Artistes getting paid in the 'Internet of free era' and they brought in the big guns for this propelling session. With panelists like M.I (now CEO of Chocolate City), Eldee (CEO of Play Data), Mary Uket (Head of New Media at Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON)), Manager of Value Added Services for MTN, Omotayo George and Piriye Isokrari, CEO Aristokrat Records moderated by Head of Legal/Business Development, Rotimi Fawole, all eyes and ears were glued to the SMWLagos Innovation Stage.

Rotimi Fawole asked the panellists their thoughts on the topic. Eldee said “We should respect it when an artist wants to give his music away. However, those who want to be paid should receive full compensation and not have the music given away on their behalf.” M.I concurred with Eldee and stated in Nigeria, we have a unique problem of not being compensated as artistes. In the past, CD sales helped with this but now because of the internet, it’s easier for control over distribution to be taken from you. Mary Uket stated that “any music used publicly should have a license for it and this is an avenue to also getting artistes paid.” Omotayo George added to this point by saying “Music is a creative asset, it’s an intellectual property, it’s a career and artistes should be duly compensated just like any other professional”. Eldee highlighted the power of social media, giving the example of his 2008 album making only about $500 a month when it was initially released but now, years later, making in excess of $1,000 a month. “As my networks grew on social media” he said, “so did my audience and revenue.”

Piriye Isokrari told the audience how Aristokrat Records took the decision to fully move to digital last year and to focus on prioritising revenue from sales and streaming over revenue from endorsements, merchandise and so on. All the panellists agreed that Artists had to engage more with their fans online in promoting their brand and their music.

Omotayo George also touched on other revenue generation possibilities for artistes through VAS services like Ring Back Tunes (RBT). M.I also touched on this topic saying artistes have to be more creative in terms of revenue generation possibilities and gave kudos to event promoters for concerts. There was so much more to be gained in this session and as a result, Spinlet is planning to hold a follow-on workshop in March primarily educating upcoming artistes on ways to maximise revenue in the music industry.

Music Day was a day of light-hearted but needed education not only for artistes in attendance but the music industry, as a whole. It was a day of unity and reunions hosting artistes and DJs, and the attendance included Bez, Sound Sultan, D.J Lambo, DJ Babus, Bemyoda, Ikechukwu, Capital Femi, Mr 2kay and more.