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The Spotify Effect On Afrobeats’ Global Rise To Prominence

By Claire Moraa

  • Afrobeats’ popularity has been amplified by the Spotify effect, accounting for an impressive 43% of total music streams on the platform
  • Between 2017 and 2022, the global streaming of Afrobeats music witnessed an extraordinary surge surpassing a growth rate of 500%

Spotify’s (SPOT +0.05%) strategic foray into Nigeria and subsequent support of the Afrobeats genre has significantly impacted its global perception and reach. Afrobeats has emerged as a dynamic and distinct genre that represents African creativity and talent on a global scale. Even though Spotify officially entered the African market in 2021, it’s already a genre to watch out for. In 2022, Nigerian artistes collectively earned a substantial $14 billion solely from Spotify’s revenue.

Why This Matters: The rise of Afrobeats on Spotify can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, Spotify has made a deliberate effort to bring Afrobeats to the forefront by creating dedicated playlists, featuring Afrobeats artists, and curating specialized content that showcases the diversity and talent within the genre. This has seen Rema’s collaboration “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez achieve a remarkable milestone, joining the prestigious Spotify billions club.

Secondly, Spotify has invested in African talent and celebrates the achievements of Afrobeats. The year 2022 saw an extraordinary surge in Afrobeats’ popularity, with the genre amassing over 13 billion streams on Spotify. This remarkable streaming figure underscores the global appeal and widespread recognition of Afrobeats within the music landscape. It’s no surprise that the 2024 Grammy nominations list features the top Afrobeats heavyweights whose music has been on constant rotation on streaming platforms.

Situational Awareness: The success of Afrobeats on Spotify serves as an example of how streaming services have the potential to amplify music from underrepresented or lesser-known genres, opening up new avenues for artists and audiences alike. To further propel these genres to greater heights, providing valuable data and insights into listening habits can be useful for artists, labels, and the industry as a whole to understand audience preferences, plan tours, and make strategic decisions. This way, as streaming becomes a primary mode of music consumption, it can also become a regular revenue stream for artists through streaming royalties.

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