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South Africa leads the charge in African music boom

Sub-Saharan Africa emerges as the fastest-growing region in the global music landscape, with revenue growth surpassing 20% according to IFPI’s findings.

The region witnessed an impressive overall revenue growth of 24.7%, fueled significantly by the exponential rise in paid streaming revenues, which accounted for 24.5% of the total revenues.

This unprecedented growth underscores the growing influence and impact of African music on the global stage.

This growth contributed to a staggering 77% of the total regional revenue, showcasing the country’s dominance in the market. Key drivers behind this surge include the widespread internet penetration and the increasing popularity of music streaming platforms like Spotify, enabling artists to transcend borders and cultivate larger fan bases while sustaining their careers.

In Spotify’s annual report, Loud & Clear, which aims to increase transparency in the music industry by sharing data on Spotify’s royalty payments and breaking down the global streaming economy, it found similar results.

These are the key figures from Spotify’s 2024 Loud & Clear Report on the South African music industry:

    • In 2023, royalties generated by South African artists from Spotify alone reached nearly R256m, reflecting a nearly 240% increase since 2019 and a more than 500% increase since 2017.
    • In 2023, South African artists were discovered by first-time listeners over 735 million times on Spotify.
    • The number of South African artists generating over R100,000 in royalties from Spotify alone has grown more than five times since 2018.
    • In 2023, nearly 2,800 South African artists were added to editorial playlists on Spotify.

“South African artists’ streaming revenues on Spotify keep growing every year – a true testament to their immense talent. It’s a privilege to continue supporting them, in keeping with our vision of ensuring all professional artists can make a living off their art,” says Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s SSA managing director.

A genre keeping the world on its toes

Amapiano is South Africa’s biggest musical export, with its viral dance routines and catchy beats. Spotify’s on-platform data shows that the genre is not slowing down anytime soon:

There has been an uptick in local music consumption in South Africa, growing by 101% in 2023

The industry is still male-dominated but female artists are gaining pace. Average streams for female artists year on year increased by 49% in 2023

Amapiano tracks have been added to over 14 million playlists. The 2023 vs 2018 growth is 566%.

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