Image Source: Boomplay

Sub-Saharan Africa Hits A High Note By Injecting $28.6 Billion Into The Streaming Industry

By Sabrina Lynch

  • Spotify experienced a 550% growth in Afrobeats streams over a 5-year period
  • South Africa is responsible for the music boom by topping revenue growth by 19.9%

The music industry is growing at an unprecedented rate thanks to the fandom of taarab, afrobeats,  coupé-décalé and more genres from the African continent. Sub-Saharan Africa has become the only region that has achieved an astonishing 24.7% increase in recorded music revenue, surpassing global averages.  Trailing behind the African music landscape in revenue growth are Asia (14.9%), and Europe (8.9%). However Latin America experienced substantial growth at 19.4%, holding the region’s status as one of the fastest growing markets

Why This Matters: This unprecedented growth in music revenue merely confirms the influential impact African music has on the global stage. South Africa emerged as the biggest gatekeeper of music profits, contributing a significant 77% of regional revenue. In fact, they remain the largest market in the region leading  revenue generation from music, followed by Nigeria and Zimbabwe – shout out to Black Coffee, Tems and Salatiel!

The secret behind Sub-Saharan Africa’s success has been a surge in paid streaming revenue by 24.5%. This has been propelled by the efforts of Spotify’s investment in African talent, and the rise of homegrown Africa-focused music streaming sites such as Boomplay that are pushing the numbers up. Case in point, Mdundo reported a 41% year-on-year jump in monthly active users. All these factors have played a role in the Sub-Saharan region exceeding a 20% growth rate, a first of its kind. It’s a milestone that marks the recording industry’s ninth consecutive year of growth.

What’s Next: Other countries will be taking note of Sub-Saharan Africa’s position on the leaderboard and making changes to their playbooks. The tides are turning for African artists as they advocate for fair music royalties, curtailing pirate and illegal distributions, and having more local music played on TV and radio stations.

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