The African music industry has been growing rapidly in the last ten years. It’s even got the fastest growing music market after Latin America. It’s not only African music that’s gaining global popularity, but African people are getting more and more access to the global music market as well.
In this article, you will learn more about the development of the music industry in Africa and why it’s important to distribute your artists’ catalog to Boomplay if you want their music to get into the African music market.
Why and how the music market in Africa is growing profusely
The digital economy of Africa is rapidly growing, due to the fact that more than 30% of all Africans have access to smartphones now. Even though the data costs are still very high compared to other continents, the connectivity is improving and these costs are slowly reducing.
Africa’s biggest streaming and downloading service, Boomplay, said that 70% of its streams is based on music from Africa, instead of music from other continents. It’s no surprise when you look at the globally rising popularity of Afrobeat, Dancehall and some Nigerian musicians, like Wizkid.
Chartmetric found out that 5 of the Top 10 artists on Twitter last year were Nigerian artists with millions of Boomplay streams.
According to a report from PwC and Ovum that investigates the global entertainment and media outlook from 2016 to 2020, the rapid growth of the African music industry comes from three factors: demographics, availability of internet and streaming.
The entertainment and music industry in the 10 youngest markets worldwide is growing three times as fast in spending as in the 10 oldest. This has more likely to do with the age of a country’s population. Since 6 in every 10 Africans are younger than 24 years, it’s the youngest population among all continents.
It’s obvious there’s a lot of potential here, especially when you look at the revenue it’s already brought in the last couple of years. The IFPI global report showed an overall global increase in revenue for the record business sector of 8.2% over 2019. But in EMEA it was about 15%.
This makes Africa the world’s second highest growing record business market after Latin America.
And that’s even without the support of DSPs (Digital Service Providers like Boomplay and Spotify) being present in all these markets. According to their own study, PwC estimates that DSPs in Africa would approximately generate $50.8 million in 2022.
Obstacles to overcome to unleash the potential of streaming services in Africa
Even though the numbers of streams are rising, there are a few obstacles to overcome to unlock the greatest amount of potential. It’s mainly the high data costs and music piracy are still big issues.
The high data costs are most expensive in South Africa. This could be one of the reasons why the global DSPs are not available in every country. For a few months back, Apple Music was only available in 16 or 17 countries in the north of the Sahara. Spotify announced to expand its service in 80 countries, including 40 African countries. Before, it was only available in 5 countries.
Piracy is a big problem in Africa as well. Governments in Africa have been trying to solve the piracy sites problem, like the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, who signed a copyright bill. But there still have a long way to go. There is still a high level of poverty around. As long as it’s easy to get music for free, choosing to use a paid streaming service is not the most popular.
Boomplay, the biggest streaming service of Africa
As mentioned before, the biggest streaming and download service in Africa is Boomplay Music (formerly known as ‘Boom Player’). Here are a few facts about Boomplay:
- The service was first launched in Nigeria in 2015, and in June 2020, they already had over 75 million users.
- According to Boomplay’s head of marketing, Tosin Sorinola, it’s the number 1 app in the Play Store across major African countries, and a social media fanbase of at least 1.5 million.
- Boomplay offers a feature that makes it easier for users to avoid the high data costs: users can also download songs to their device – with WiFi – to play them without an internet connection. This is a very important feature, since a lot of people in Africa have to travel for hours through landscapes with little to no internet. And of course, there’s no data connection there.
- Boomplay also offers the same recommendation and personalization style that made Spotify so big: curated playlists to discover new music, based on users’ preferences, favourite music and moods.
- But Boomplay offers more than just music: the Buzz section also offers news about entertainment (and music), sports and lifestyle news.
- Boomplay has even got its own award show. Next to that, Boomplay lets users earn Rewards Points when they play music and engage in the Boomplay Community. These Rewards Points can be exchanged for Boomplay subscriptions, airtime, gadgets, coupons and more.
Compared to Spotify and TikTok, Boomplay is globally seen still a small player. But it’s not focused on Western-focused demographics, like the other ones.
In Africa, Boomplay is winning, so Boomplay is the right place to be to tap into the African music market potential.
It’s growing and it’s receptive to Western music. Wait until the data costs are declining more, the piracy has been cracked down, more people gain access to the internet and own a smartphone.
But Boomplay is not only planning to operate in Africa alone. It wants to expand to other markets, without directly competing with Spotify or Apple Music: Boomplay wants to target the African populations all over the world, with the music on their platform that’s already a perfect fit for African consumers.
Want to get the music of your artists on Boomplay too?
Boomplay is one of the channels that you can integrate in your SonoSuite package to distribute the music of your artists too. Especially when it’s Afropop or Gospel, because there’s a high demand for it in Africa.
And if you want to give your artists advice in how to grow a fanbase on the African continent, collaboration with popular artists on Boomplay might be a good shot to engage with millions of Boomplay users. You certainly shouldn’t wait to jump on this ship called Boomplay, because before you know it, others will!