Nakuru County Governor Mr Lee Kinyanjui has urged thespians, musicians, content creators and concert organizers to fully exploit digital platforms by taking their creations online.
Kinyanjui said with live shows on pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the creative industry in the devolved unit should tap into new revenue streams on digital platforms and outlets to build resilience.
Whilst addressing a meeting of representatives from the creative industry at the County headquarters, the governor indicated that the pandemic offers an opportunity for artistes to innovate.
There is a gap in the vast digital space that content creators in Nakuru should take advantage of to showcase their skills and talents.
The reality now is that a creative artist’s digital fan base may be one of their only key sources of income for as long as public gatherings are banned. I encourage them to seize this opportunity to improve their craft, create new content, prepare promotional material and invest in online revenue streams,” he pointed out.
The Governor added, “Facebook Live and YouTube are some of the platforms where our artists can stream live shows. Given the important role of the digital creative services for creative industries, it’s crucial that we ready ourselves for the new normal and adopt digital strategies in line with our development needs.”
Kinyanjui who was accompanied by County Youth and Culture Chief Officer Dr William Migwe and Chairperson of Nakuru Cultural Creative Industry Mr Elvis Emitati pledged that his administration will hold training sessions for the youth on developing, distributing and monetizing their content online.
“We are in the process of creating online platforms for the youth to showcase their talents in spaces where their potential can grow and be recognized internationally. My administration is formulating a policy that will guide this sector,” he said.
“More needs to be done to allow home-grown digital platforms in the country to stay profitable and for the digital economy to become inclusive and sustainable. Kenya has made significant progress in building a digital ecosystem,” he observed.
Kinyanjui challenged creative artists to ensure they produce high-quality content and pre-recorded performances that will attract Television stations and online platforms for live streaming.
He added that while digital solutions cannot replace the value and beauty of a live show the opportunity to stream the concert on the phone, computer or connected TV had the potential of attracting thousands of views at a given time but the number could rise into millions once the concert is posted online.
“Music unites people and even though it will take time for the situation to stabilize, there will always be demand for live music. The Covid-19 crisis should spur the creative industry to make full use of the potential offered by digital platforms to market and sell creative content online via e-commerce. Creative performers can still connect with their audience through digital platforms which are becoming popular every day,” the Governor pointed out.
He indicated there was a need for a national e-commerce strategy that will help identify solutions that can help the Kenyan creative industries and those beyond, using e-commerce as a new tool for income generation.
Mr Emitati expressed concern that uptake of digital platforms had exposed creative artists to a number of challenges including collection of fees and royalties, copyright and intellectual property rights infringements, weak privacy and personal data protection rules, illegal downloads, piracy, and counterfeiting.
He however stated revenue streams generated by music aggregators, such as YouTube and Spotify, and Kenyan platforms, have helped mitigate pandemic-related losses, through the download of artists’ music tunes and ringtones for mobile phones.
“Artists relying on digital platforms for income during the crisis have become more productive. Nevertheless, profitability for both Kenyan producers and the platforms requires time and scale,” observed Mr Emitati.
By Anne Mwale