Recorded music revenues in Africa increased by 8.4% in 2020 outpacing the global recorded music market

November 11, 2014 – The logo of the music streaming service Spotify in Berlin. (Credit Image: © Britta Pedersen/DPA/

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the uptake of music streaming platforms like Spotify, Boomplay, Audiomack and Apple Music has resulted in a growth in music revenue in the continent.

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In its recently released 2020 Global Music Report, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide said that the growth is in line with the global trend over the past year where streaming services accounted for 62.1 per cent of global music revenue with performance rights revenues taking the biggest hit as major concerts and events were cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While still in the nascent stages in the continent, (Spotify just recently entered into the Kenyan market), streaming played a major role in alleviating the lack of physical performances and contributed to a mammoth 71.9 per cent of Africa’s music revenue according to Universal Music Group. South Africa continued to control much of the revenue generated with other African countries showing an increase in uptake in the streaming services. On a year on year basis streaming saw revenues grow by 36.4%.

“The easing of internet costs in South Africa, at a time the country experienced the continent’s largest corona pandemic outbreak and longest lockdowns, may have led to the increase in uptake of streaming services. Overall South Africa and the MENA region received 80 per cent of the region’s music revenue,” said Sipho Dlamini, CEO Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Recorded music revenues in Africa increased by 8.4% in 2020 outpacing the global recorded music market which grew by 7.4%, the sixth consecutive year of growth, according to IFPI. Figures released in IFPI’s Global Music Report show total revenues for 2020 were US$21.6 billion.

During the same period, there has been an increase in the signing of African artists on global recording labels that are expected to increase revenue in the coming years.

“We are encouraged that the world is embracing music from Africa as seen in the rising nominations and recognition into major global music awards witnessed recently. The fact that this year’s report has for the first time featured Africa and the Middle East Region is testament to the increasing opportunities that have been accentuated by the recent launch of major streaming platforms and we are excited to see the growth in the coming years” said Angela Ndambuki, Regional Director, IFPI Sub-Saharan Africa.

Burna Boy recently won a Grammy Award for Global Music Album which is a testament to how far the love for African music has spread. Hopefully, this trend continues as more Kenyan artists continue to sign on to Spotify.

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