MTN, a foremost telecommunication company in the country has described its role in promoting the entertainment industry as a worthwhile venture.
The company identified its role in paying royalties to deserving artistes through its caller tunes, investment in endorsement deals and discovery of fresh talents through sponsorship of Project Fame, an annual reality television show as some of the ways it has contributed to the growth of the industry.
The company in a statement said: “Through our ring back tones popularly referred to as caller tunes, launched in 2008 as a revenue stream, we harnessed the huge potential in an innovation that has turned out to be safely rewarding to both the artistes and the industry, becoming one of the largest distribution platforms for music content in Nigeria.The caller tunes provided Nigerian artistes with a concrete means to monetize their content and enjoy a full reward for their labour since it was impossible for the songs on the service to be pirated or duplicated.
“In 2013 subscription to the caller tunes service of MTN Nigeria alone reached the 17 million subscriber mark a record that seem intimidating and unbeatable for other networks. At the moment MTN Nigeria is not dropping standards as its caller ring back tunes have a staggering number of over 39 million subscribers. It is remarkable that in 2014, MTN generated N5 billion which it paid as royalties for Nigerian music artistes who sell their contents as caller tunes on its platform.”
It added: “In 2012 MTN threw out its first endorsement deal when it hired the services of pop singer Davido as the ambassador of MTN Pulse in a deal reportedly worth N30 million. The following year past winners of the MTN Project Fame, a show solely sponsored by MTN, singers Inyanya got N40milion Mike Imyke ayansodo N10million, Chidinma N20milion and Praiz N20million.
“The Nigerian entertainment industry will not forget in a hurry the famous move of Hafeez Saka Oyetoro from another telecom company taking the spending spree to another level. MTN dispensed some more millions, this time to young Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Kcee and even Don Jazzy along with younger brother the Prince got their share of the better times. The papers went agog with headlines of MTN’s 500m on endorsement deals leaving opposition with much to catch up on.
“The Project Fame is another demonstration of MTN’s commitment to improving the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria. Since its inception the Project Fame has churned out talents and revealed sublime music potentials to Nigeria and the world. The discovery of the likes of Chidinma, Praise, Iyanya, Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi and others has proven an undisputable fact that Nigeria artistes can hold their own against their foreign counterparts if given equal training and attention.
“The immediate rise to fame and fortune and sustained consistency of proud products of this academy is also another testimony that our very own local talent, sound and even music has come to stay and for good.”