The album, Made in Lagos by multiple award-winning artist, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid was reasoned to be Nigeria’s finest export in the year 2021 upon its release, 29th October, 2020. The album which had initially featured the likes of Burna Boy, Tems Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R, Ella Mai Tay Iwar, Projexx and Terri saw to a deluxe version which featured Justin Bieber and new school sensation, Buju.
The album, Made in Lagos has a billion streams and counting. With multiple successes to the album such as Highest-charting Nigerian album of all time on the Billboard 20 chart, Longest-charting Nigerian album this century on the Billboard 200 chart, First Nigerian album to spend multiple weeks at #1 on the Billboard World Albums chart, Longest-charting single by an African artist on the Hot 100 – “Essence” amongst others, the recent milestone was the sellout of the O2 Arena – a 20,000 capacity venue, primarily used for live music. It is located at the centre of The O2 and is the first American-style, multi-purpose arena in London.
The arena which was sold out in a record time of 12 minutes had the two-time Grammy nominated artist, Wizkid performing for three days in London for his Made in Lagos tour. But this really isn’t the full story. Here’s how Wizkid (also known as Big Wiz) revolutionised uduX ideas On music streaming in Nigeria.
Wizkid, uduX and Made in Lagos
uduX – a subscription-based music store and streaming service platform that combines high-quality audio and high-definition music videos to give premium entertainment had partnered with MTN – one of Nigeria and Africa’s largest telecommunications giant to bring a one day show of the Made in Lagos concert held in London.
The viewership of the concert had an estimate figure of over 238,000 Nigerians who experienced it live from the comfort of their homes, partaking in what the physical audience had experienced (although uduX had only shown just a day out of the three days concert).
uduX which was launched in April 2019 by a Nigerian company, Groove Platforms, to have its share of the global digital streaming industry, currently dominated by the likes of Apple iTunes Store, Audiomack, Deezer, Spotify, and YouTube Music. uduX sees the video streaming as an opportunity to connect with persons and get into the homes and comfort of its listeners and prospective ones like never before.
Per TechCabal, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of uduX, Douglas Jekan had said that technology and entertainment are coming together in diverse ways to bring more immersive and wholesome experiences to personal services.
“While video is not the most immersive experience, as we’re in the age of augmented reality and the metaverse, it is richer than just audio. For a show in Nigeria of this magnitude, we felt we needed to bring as much of the experience as we could, not just the sound”, Jekan said.
uduX which is connected with the major music labels across the world, leverages on that in order to build successful music streaming services in Nigeria, an industry that is difficult to thrive in following the series of competition around the industry.
uduX which has licenses from Sony, UC, and Warner Brothers, had leveraged on its licenses and relationship with Sony since Wizkid is signed to Sony music label to secure the license of the live streaming. Jekan explained that the philosophy of all its partners in the live streaming aligned, so it was easy.
“The partnership with MTN and Wizkid was built on a shared philosophy—one that represents taking the best of Africa to the world. MTN is one of the largest telcos in Africa. In so many ways, they embody this philosophy.”
“For Wizkid, we all know what he means to Africa and the culture. He is not just a musician; Big Wiz is an icon for African culture, African music, the promise of youth and the future.”
Jekan further explained that uduX was perfect for this (that is, the live streaming of the Made in Lagos concert) because it has been championing taking African musical sounds to the world since it launched in 2019.
“For Wizkid, it was a chance to show his Nigerian fans love, and we facilitated the whole thing, pulling the experience out of the O2 Arena and making it available to Nigerians via our platform,” Jekan said.
Unsurprisingly, uduX numbers boomed after the event, but uduX is excited that it could create such a unique experience for Nigerians. uduX is all about creating an innovative way for Africans to experience their own culture.
“This is what we’re all trying to do—to break down barriers and limitations and take experiences to the ends of the world. We’ve been able to position ourselves as frontrunners in this space, and that is a monumental gain for us”, Jekan further stated.
Moving on, like most brands tapping to the video-watching culture of the global audience, music video streaming would be a part of uduX’s offerings. Jekan who explained that the company is moving with/to many ideas and citing an example with the social media network, Instagram, music wouldn’t be completely kicked as music streaming would always play a part simply because it is one of the basic and most powerful artistic tools to engage people with.
In response to the live stream event which was supposed to be free but had a fee of N1000 for access, Jekan apologised on behalf of uduX and explained that the company would give its viewers access to watch the rebroadcast for the entire Made in Lagos show.
He said, “The company will give them access to watch the rebroadcast of the entire first day of the “Made in Lagos” show at the O2 Arena, London, and the mini docuseries of the making of M.I.L. at the O2”.
“They will also get a one-month free subscription to stream any song or content on uduX. The way it works is very simple: once you access the system, it will confirm your eligibility, and you’ll be given access to watch and stream all content on uduX for the duration of your subscription”.