Four years ago Nigerian Entertainment Today instituted NET Honours, a special recognition award given to deserving individuals in the entertainment industry. Since then, several outliers and industry veterans have been recipients. Last year however, we decided to make it more encompassing by reinventing it as a People’s Choice Awards. As the name implies, the NET Honours does not have a panel of judges determining who gets decorated. Instead, we make it the choice of the fans- in this case, the audiences on our website, and social media platforms – nearly 40 million users. This past year alone, the website was visited 10 million times, up 23% from 8 million it was in 2015. On Facebook and YouTube, we scored over 25 million video views.
The reason is not far fetched- the numbers found in the annual report provide actual figures for why Wizkid, for example was the biggest artiste of 2016. From polls conducted on both our website and on our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) our readers chose him over the likes of Tekno and Falz. The searches on our website corroborate that poll: Wizkid was searched for close to 60,000 times. Funke Akindele and Odunlade Adekola seem to be the favourite of movie buffs as their names came up 27,000 and 9,625 times respectively, edging out Mercy Johnson and Muyiwa Ademola from the previous year.
Awards by their nature are contentious: as there can only be one winner, people who come second, third or last usually feel as though their votes didn’t count. But as the saying goes: men lie, women lie but numbers don’t lie- these figures aim to show the actualities of our industry. It may surprise one to see that while Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade still maintain their grip on the female sub-group, the artiste giving them a close chase is not one of the usual names (Waje, Omawumi etc), but a relatively new Simi! On the other hand, Toke Makinwa who had less than 10,000 page views as the most popular media personality in 2015 had that figure increase by 735% in 2016 and saw her retain that ‘title’ by a huge margin.
The NET Honours (PCA) also provides an insight into what platforms these entertainers are popular on. Funke Akindele’s outing at the Headies with her husband JJC Skillz was the most liked photo on our Instagram page in 2016 (71,000 impressions and 3724 interactions), while Femi Otedola clutching his three analogue phones was most popular on our Facebook page, with almost a quarter of a million people reached and over 230,000 engagement. Do people on Instagram prefer ‘lovey dovey’ posts to news items? Your guess is as good as mine.
Starting this year, each of the top performers identified by both the numbers on our website and feedback garnered directly from the audience, would be awarded with a certificate of recognition for the great work they’ve done in the year under review- in this case 2016.
NET Honours (PCA) is one of the many ways Thenetng is working to celebrate our entertainers, while also giving power to those who matter to them most: the fans. It’s also our wish that the data herein will be useful for those interested in verifiable figures and stats, as we continue to move the Nigerian entertainment sector forward. After all if we don’t, who will?