In the brisk autumn of October 2023, the global music industry was shaken by an exclusive Billboard report hinting at the potential fate of Mavin Records, the Nigerian and African music powerhouse. Rumours swirled that the label was exploring new investments or perhaps even considering an outright sale. According to the whispers from the industry’s corridors, Mavin’s valuation in the prospective deal ranged between a staggering $125 million and $200 million, and speculations grew about the involvement of Shot Tower Capital.
As the news reverberated across the music landscape, the founder and veteran music producer, Don Jazzy, and the Chief Operation Officer, Oghenejebo Tega, remained tight-lipped, neither confirming nor debunking the reports. Yet, the undeniable truth was that investments were a crucial consideration for the label’s future.
Mavin Records transformed in 2019, evolving into Mavin Global following a multi-million dollar investment from Kupanda Holdings. Don Jazzy’s vision, as declared in 2019, was clear – to make Mavin the music powerhouse of Africa. Now, standing at the crossroads in 2024, a strategic move loomed on the horizon, irrespective of whether the reported investments materialised.
The proposed move?
Mavin Records, in a bold strategic move poised to redefine its global presence, should be embarking on an ambitious expansion journey into pivotal music markets. The label, which has long been a powerhouse in Nigeria, should now be extending its reach to encompass the vibrant music scenes of Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, the UK, and the USA. This expansion marks a significant step towards consolidating Mavin’s influence on the international stage, fostering cross-cultural collaborations, and tapping into the diverse musical landscapes of these key regions. By strategically positioning itself in these varied markets, Mavin Records would not only broaden its artist roster but also engage with a more expansive audience, ultimately solidifying its status as a leading force in the global music industry.
Why is this a strategic move for Mavin Records?
The underlying rationale was apparent: with a roster boasting 13 Nigerian artists, having them all jostle for attention in the same local market could be a precarious endeavour. The risk of internal competition, especially amidst a sea of independent and label-signed artists, was a potential stumbling block.
The proposed strategic move aimed not only at geographical expansion but also at smartly navigating the intricate web of local music scenes. By establishing a presence in diverse markets, Mavin Records could diversify its talent pool and appeal, mitigating the risk of saturating its core market.
This way, they could have 30 to 50 artists on their roster and wouldn’t have to compete against themselves at the rate they currently do. Lastly, these artists will get a chance to easily collaborate with artists under the same label and excel.
How can Mavin Records go about this?
The twist? There is no need for physical offices; a nimble two-person A&R team in each location would suffice, focusing on talent scouting and development.
Utilising existing resources, Mavin could initiate this expansion step by step, starting with a single country and gradually moving on to others.
This can be done by partnering with label service providers like Virgin Music, Platoon, Orchard, etc., to distribute and market these talents while Mavin’s clout as an industry giant, its visionary leaders, and its exceptional team continue to provide the necessary platform and machinery to drive these campaigns.
In addition, a joint venture deal could be extended to some, if not all, of these artists, alleviating the financial burdens associated with propelling them to the pinnacle of success.