Hope Entertainment, Lomi, Minewshewa and DireTube currently dominate the online streaming music video market in Ethiopia. They cater the works of local artists and some even help produce the videos. There is of course nobody that purchases the output once a video other than these online hosting companies with TV stations playing music for free. Nevertheless, this emerging market leaves a lot to be desired in terms of rewarding the creative mind, writes Hiwot Abebe.
Kako Getachew, best known for his Wolayita song Aroge Arada 2, has 6 music videos so far. His 2017 video Man Ale has 1.2 million YouTube views and his steady rise to popularity has given him a larger audience. Despite his easygoing spirit the process has not been easy for him and he is not the only one. There are dozens of new and emerging singers all over the country and quickly gaining mainstream attention. After a song or album has been made and an artist wants to make a video it can be time and cost intensive. The production process can be long and tedious. Kako says many production companies ask for large sums of money to produce music videos. His current video has been 7 months in the making and involves 60 actors, which will largely increase production costs. The overall cost of the clip largely depends on the concept or story of the song.
Ewnet Assasshign, owner and manager of Truth Productions has been involved in the production of 120 music videos in different capacities. He explains that artists usually want videos to promote their albums nationwide. They usually select a producer whose work they already like and ask for a video clip for a specific song. The producer then develops a concept and budget. The idea is to visually represent the essence of the song. If the artist approves the budget, which usually ranges from 30,000 to 350,000 Birr, the production company moves on to the pre-production phase. This includes location scouting, finding the right dancers or actors, making costumes and deciding on the right equipment to use. The actual shoot only takes 2 or 3 days and is followed by post-production editing. 80% of Ethiopian music videos online are of good quality and the standards are improving exponentially, says Ewnet. Rental equipment, especially when aiming for international markets, means more expensive cranes, dolly, camera lenses and even drones.
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