Data and branding are the new currency for music – Experts say


The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), in partnership with the Music In Africa Foundation, has held a seminar on ‘Leveraging Digital Tools for Career Enhancement’. The programme was a part of the Music In Africa Live (MIAL) project.

A tech consultant, Kobby Spiky Nkrumah, has described data as the new currency for the music business. According to him, musicians and their management need to understand their data to enable them to use it effectively.

He lamented: “The creative industry in Ghana isn’t leveraging the plethora of digital opportunities available”. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) on Friday, September 2, 2022. The seminar was a Music in Africa Live Project, supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Siemens Stiftung, and Goethe Institut.

According to the tech expert, if creatives mine their data effectively, they can monetise their digital platforms effectively. Spiky Nkrumah, who also hosts Geek Squad on Joy FM, advised participants to think global for their careers; and advised them on how to use the various social media platforms. This includes when to post and what strategies to use for each platform. He noted that: “A good strategy can move you from coins to cash”.

Another resource person at the seminar, Prof. Emmanuel Osei Akyeampong, a strategy and brand expert and lecturer with GIMPA, told the participants that their brand equity will determine their worth in the industry. He advised them to pay special attention to their brand values since that is what will determine their longevity.

Referring to artistes such as the Tagoe Sisters – who were at the seminar – and Bessa Simons, acting president of MUSIGA, he noted that it is because they are true to their brand values that they are still relevant in the music industry.

Prof. Akyeampong also took participants through the process of building and maintaining their brands, the tangibles that will manifest their brands and the intangibles that will underpin their brands. These include the quality of their brands and the emotional benefits their listeners and fans can derive from them.

In his presentation, Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, Director of Communications and Special Projects with MUSIGA and General Manager of Ahotor 92.3 FM, took participants through a journey on the history of the music business and the various key developments in the industry. He then zoned into the opportunities presented by the Internet and how to leverage those opportunities.

The acting president of MUSIGA, Bessa Simons, in his welcome address, expressed the union’s appreciation to the Music in Africa Foundation for their support for the programme. He noted: “Today, the music industry has changed so much from when some of us embarked on our careers nearly fifty years ago. In those days, the music business was different.

“With a good demo, you knew you could get a producer and some front money, and they would do the rest for you. If your song was good, you were on to a good time. These days, business has changed. From your bedroom, you can distribute your music to various online stores, build your fanbase on social media, play online shows like we were doing during the COVID lockdown, and you can be making some money.”

Present at the seminar were representatives of the union from Eastern, Central and the Volta Regions. Others included S.K Agyemang, National Treasurer; Chizzy Wailer, National Organiser; Rev. Dr. Thomas Yawson, and all national executives. Also present were Greater Accra Regional executives including Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi, Chairman; Elizabeth Tagoe, Deputy Chairperson; Alex Odoi, Welfare Officer; and Bright Quaye aka Joe Wizzy, organiser.

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