The distribution of Nigerian music is highly dependent on Alaba Market as it is the largest dealers on packaged entertainment on CDs, DVDs, etc.
Veteran Nigerian rapper and producer, elDee has revealed the sole reason why Alaba International Market has fallen from grace to grass as Nigeria’s major music distribution hub.
The label owner now tech innovator runs a blog as well, via which he wrote a piece addressing his Alaba market displeasure.
elDee introduced Alaba marketers to the idea of making profit from expanding to selling physical records, by mass producing and branding via their already established distribution records.
Prior to that, Alaba market was a pirate zone where all sorts of illegal duplication of content and sales took place. However, eLDee was able to give them a new direction and opened their eyes to a world of possibilities and benefits.
“To get them on board, we would have to earn their trust, and convince them on how they could make even more money if we marketed legally licensed products for them.” eLDee explained.
“The vision was clear so I made a move with my close friend and record label manager at the time (Babajide Familusi aka FAB) and approached them with our proposal.”
“Unlike Tjoe in 2001, many of the merchants got greedy and it was only a matter of time before most if not all the distributors began ripping off their content creators. They went legal for a few months, but soon went back to being pirates.”
“They figured out ways to produce more than they declared to the creators, sometimes up to millions of extra copies of music and movie works.”
“Content owners lost confidence and millions, greedy merchants and marketers got cocky and cheated rights owners with impunity, they even declared battle against copyright agencies and anyone who attempted to disrupt their operations.
“There were multiple raids on many Alaba stores by content owners and the police and then portable mp3 technology began changing consumer habits. Numerous Alaba marketers who were once capable of paying content creators distribution advances of up to N50,000,000 can barely pay their store rents at the market today.
“The Alaba market is still alive today but they have been reduced mostly to pirates, selling “latest” mixes once again.”
eLDee started his career in 1998 and is popular for his revolutionary music and as the owner of Trybesmen Records. He also invented a national distribution network for music which will help gather, regulated and analyze the database of Nigerian music
His record label, Tybesmen’s “L.A.G Style” was the first record to be officially distributed legally via Alaba.