Powering Entertainment Consumption with technology; Interview with Demola (Mola), NotJustOk.com Founder
So inspiring! If you want to go into entertainment or want to promote your brand online, I think you can learn something.
WTN: Let’s meet you
Mola: My name is Demola Ogundele better known as Mola OG in the notjustok.com community, founder of notjustok. Other members of the team are Ovie and Lalaboiy.
WTN: Tell us about NotJustOk and it’s impact on the industry
Mola: The impact I will leave for analysts to judge, but I will at least tell you what notjustOk is about. We are a website or portal (just to sound cliché) that delivers quality, new music, music videos and related material in a timely manner. We pride ourselves in exposing the remarkable acts from Nigeria to the world at large. In 2010, we also started offering albums for sale in the same timely manner as we do songs and videos.
WTN: Are artistes finding it easy using your platform to promote their music?
Mola: Artistes who qualify based on requirements of the notjustOk team are finding it easy to promote their music via the platform. Unfortunately we don’t post every song that we receive due to quality requirements.
WTN: Do other media (TV, Radio) feel threatened by your growing influence?
Mola: They should not, we are on different platforms. We are on the internet and they are on their respective platforms, although they probably are working their way to the internet at least presence wise.
WTN: What impact has technology played in promoting entertainment in Nigeria?
Mola: A big role, but the impact is not yet obvious to majority of the consumers as a whole, even to some artistes. However, we all know that almost all adults and teenagers in Nigeria owns a cell phone and several cell phone users purchase or find a way to get ringtones on their phones; so that is one way technology is playing a role in entertainment. Also, you notice that Nigeria has the most internet users in Africa. A lot of these users find a way to keep up with entertainment content online while using the internet for other reasons like email, Facebook or Twitter.
Currently, majority of our audience (78%) reside in Nigeria which tells us that many music consumers in Nigeria are using technology to consume music, videos and music related content.
WTN: What do you think Nigerian artistes are not getting right on how to use the internet to promote their brands?
Mola: Well, the answer to this question can fill a 15 page paper, but I will strongly advise artistes to read our Ask Ms. Uduak column which is a weekly offering; there are a lot of valuable jewels in Ms. Uduak’s articles.
First of all, I feel that each artiste should have an active Facebook and Twitter presence. If you don’t have the time, try and hire a trusted person to run them so that their fans can get updates on what they (the artistes) are up to; more so for established artistes, but also applies to up and coming acts that are gaining some popularity. DonJazzy, eLDee, M.I, Darey, RuggedMan and Banky W are pretty good with these. Also, for up and coming acts, I would advise that before they start promoting a single, they should have 3 or 4 solid singles in the cooler ready to follow up the 1st single which may or may not be a banger. I know the model in Nigeria is to hoard your music as much as possible and promote single by single (2 singles deep) and then release an album, but the internet will not work this way. To be honest, I think this is where the music industry is going. This (hoarding singles or new songs) will typically only work for an established act like Dbanj, M.I, Psquare, Banky Ws, Eldees and more. If you are starting off, have at least 4 singles ready and one video ready and be ready to get back in the studio to make more Bangers. Learn from D’Prince; he dropped 3 bangers and followed up with a huge collaboration called “Jonzing” and now a video for his new single, Give It To Me. You have to be consistent and remain dominant in the audience’s mind. It´s not enough to drop 25 ok joints that you want to add to your mixtape, all that does is make you work hard on the wrong thing and it puts you in the mix tape artiste box. Now there is nothing wrong with dropping a mixtape, but if you are dropping a mixtape, you are better off sitting down and making sure that all songs are up to par or over-killing. I know it´s easier said than done, but I´ve seen it happen and work. Above all, the internet is free. To get your songs posted is free, to get a link of your song posted on Facebook and twitter is free so everything is pretty much free.
WTN: You guys are very active on social networks (Facebook and twitter) what impact is it having on your business?
Mola: Yes we are, thanks to OvieO, he is the man on twitter. I like to tweet, but I can’t find time to tweet as much as I would love to. However, yes it is a major help and even though we are really active on twitter, Facebook still accounts for majority of our social network referrals; it’s interesting how it works.
WTN: Can you share with us, a big milestone NotJustOK has achieved in recent time?
Mola: Well we hit over 60k pageviews one day, being given the opportunity to sell digital albums on the notjustOk platform (1st album we sold was the late DaGrin’s CEO), top 10 videos (which is currently on hold for now), getting over 1000 comments on a post, moving to our wordpress platform, first voiced track “You Bad” by Wande Coal which was done out of frustration.
WTN: How do you think technology will influence popularity of up and coming artiste?
Mola: Well Technology can help increase the awareness and popularity of an artiste. Label heads are paying attention to NotJustOK and some artistes have actually been signed on by well know record labels, partly due to the exposure we have provided to many upcoming artistes. Also, several artistes have become very popular via the NotJustOK platform; we are not radio and are unable recycle, or repost a song we already posted, but the songs are always accessible.
Moving forward, an up and coming artiste will need to be consistent with dropping material in a 2 month period so that every other week or less his name appears on the site/internet (this can only be done if their song is exceptional); this will make his/her presence dominant in the minds of our frequent visitors and if the artiste happens to drop a major banger or a very catchy song, then the post suddenly becomes a viral. This recently happened to Yung6ix who dropped his first single (a remake of IcePrince’s Oleku) but he is the exception; most people will have to drop 3-4 singles to get that HIT if they are good.
WTN: Internet and privacy do you see internet as a threat to music sales or enabler?
Mola: Full time enabler! Although there will always be folks giving out free albums, internet or no internet. Look, if every Nigerian could purchase albums online, a little below one quarter of us would. The numbers would be huge; I mean right now or as of 2009 The World bank estimated that Nigerians between the ages of 15-64 make 82 million of the population, imagine if 500,000 of those Nigerians bought music online on a consistent basis and all artistes were collecting their fair share of the net income off their music. The industry would immediately get restructured and artistes would be increasing one source of their income apart from the current most lucrative source; shows and concerts.
WTN: What should we expect from you going forward?
Mola: Expect innovation and the continuous addition of value to the site without overwhelming our users.
WTN: What one thing do you think if solved will boost internet business?
Mola: If Nigeria had an effective, reliable, safe and secure online payment method, internet business would boom without a doubt in my mind.
WTN: What word do you have for upcoming entrepreneur who are planning to launch out on the internet?
Mola: First of all, I personally know that God has played a major role in building notjustok so far. A lot of results that we got were not expected. So I think you need that supernatural factor; some call it luck others call it being at the right place at the right time. I call it favour or blessing.
In addition, enjoy the process which means you need to have a natural and strong passion for whatever it is you are doing. Also, let go off any cockiness if you have team mates, listen to everyone in your team and make decisions with best interest of the brand at heart and remove your self-interest from the equation. In addition, Dream BIG and believe!