Nigerian act Mr. Eazi will launch a $20m initiative called the Africa Music Fund (AMF) to support existing and emerging African music-makers.
Mr. Eazi told CNN on 17 July that the AMF lead investor is 88mph, a company that provides capital for African businesses. He said a new music distribution platform called Cinch Distro would be used to predict an artist’s future streaming revenues to determine their eligibility for the fund.
African artists using the platform will be charged $1.19 to upload one song to major music stores for or $10 for unlimited song uploads. Selected artists will receive financial support to expand their catalog as well as a music marketing and distribution deal.
Cinch Distro will launch through a partnership between Mr. Eazi’s artist accelerator programme, emPawa Africa and global music tech company Vydia.
“The artists use the platform to distribute their music, and we monitor their progress. That way, we can make data-backed decisions about who to invest in,” he said.
“Let’s say we have a two-year contract with someone. In those two years, we will be their representative, helping them manage their music, and as they grow, we will be deducting the initial investment from their earnings.”
Music analyst Toye Sokunbi welcomed the AMF initiative but asked artists to keep a lookout for how their data is compiled and used. “Many artists don’t have the same accessibility to important data that music distributors have about their music,” he said.
“They don’t necessarily tell you the exact way they are marketing your music or give artists access to data they can use to maximize revenue for their content. This information imbalance means artists are largely oblivious of much of the audience data farmed from their content.”
In response, Mr. Eazi said: “With our tech platform, you can see how much you earn in real-time, you can also see how much you owe and how that is being deducted.”
This new venture follows the success of emPawa Africa that has provided start-up funding to 130 emerging African artists to launch their professional recording careers. The mentorship program has seen the rise of artists such as Joeboy and Lady Donli from Nigeria and J.Derobie (Ghana), among others.