Apple earlier announced its decision to localize pricing on its online stores in these 9 additional countries: Malaysia, Qatar, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Egypt, Tanzania and of course, Nigeria.
Simply put, users from these countries can now make all payments for app and in-app purchases in their various local currencies as opposed to standard U.S dollar charging system.
With all the great benefits that this tweak brings, the development particularly comes as an early Christmas present to Apple’s Nigerian customers who are currently in the abyss of a gritty economic recession.
Posing a win-win situation, users can now pay for their purchases, subscriptions etc in Nigerian Naira without the trauma of the epileptic forex. Restrictions and bans placed by financial institutions to troubleshoot the recession will cease to apply as these transactions will no longer be tagged “international”.
See below the reactions of some Nigerian Apple Music users before and after the localization of pricing on it’s platform
Great. I can’t pay for my Apple Music subscription because my country has blocked all foreign transactions on all Naira cards. ????????
— SF (@segunfamisa) 18 October 2016
@AllyShimmer They’ve cut me off everything. Apple music, iCloud storage, BBM subscription.
Nigeria is stifling.
— Agboola .S. (@AgboolaS) 6 November 2016
Finally my @AppleMusic subscription will be paid in Naira ????Unlimited access to over 30 million tracks worldwide With just N900/Month✌️️
— Chuks Patrick O (@Iam_Slimkiss) 8 December 2016
Apple on the other hand gets to retain their robust Nigerian market without the fear of losing consumers who have intentions to boycott due to economic strains.
As leaders of the most popular online music technology and monetization platforms, Apple’s new pricing policy brings one question to mind.
How will the Nigerian music industry be affected by this change?
Apple Music; an IOS music streaming service which was strategically made available to Android platforms, now costs only 900 Naira for individual subscription and an even cheaper NGN1,400 for a 6-user family package.
This comes at a crucial time where the mystery of music business is being unshrouded in the country. Stakeholders and players are awakening to the realities and endless possibilities of music streaming: a service unanimously believed to be the ultimate future of the global music industry.
The Apple Music platform brims with the most potentials, especially because of its wide reach, availability and now; affordability. If properly tapped, here are the reasons why it could give the Nigerian Music industry a financial facelift.
1. Increment in Profitable Music Consumption
Historically, when Apple changes a store to local pricing currency, it indirectly spells that there is a massive uplift in local sales. This means that amongst other Apple online store patronage, more Nigerians are beginning to stream music; a one-time rare phenomenon made easier by the recent drop in mobile data rates. The increase in the numbers of Nigerian users will increase the consumption of local music content resulting to more revenue for the content owners.
It is without doubt that music streaming plays a major role in the latest trend of Nigerian acts getting signed to international labels. By virtue of having quality content on a global platform such as Apple Music, artistes have increased chances at getting discovered by investors; whether local or otherwise.
3. Artiste Independence
The simplicity which the new pricing policy brings, will further demystify the vagueness of music streaming services to indie artistes. Never again will musical success be measured solely or dictated by record labels as musical acts can earn decent returns independently, without cut throat percentage ratios and unnecessary bureaucracy.
4. Wider Audience Reach, Bigger Fan Base
With millions of talented artistes roaming the streets of Nigeria, it is almost a myth that the tiniest fraction will get their music past the ears of family and friends let alone have a successful musical career. The ones who eventually find their feet hardly ever get the local and intercontinental love that their music deserves.
The ease of access and the various services that Apple Music provides (Beats 1 radio, Apple Music Connect, curated playlists, etc) results in a “Music Beyond Borders” effect. These outlets see to it that as long as an artiste makes good music, there are no limits to how far their content can travel. This inadvertently equals wider audience reach, bigger fan base and can spin into sales and revenue generation off the online radar.
In such desperate times where solutions to resuscitate the country from financial doom are being wildly sought for, it is ironic that the one time overlooked music industry is a strong contender. With gems like Apple Music and other viable platforms which have the resources to provide artistes with revenue for a lifetime, it is safe to say that music is the future pillar of the Nigerian Economy