Spotify launched its Afro Hub in October 2018, as a showcase for the music of sub-Saharan Africa, even though the streaming service is so far only available in South Africa in that part of the world.
The initiative includes a number of playlists focused on African music, including flagship brand African Heat, which has recently passed the 400,000 subscribers mark (it’s on just under 410,000 at the time of writing).
What spurred us to look was a blog post by Spotify featuring an interview with its global lead of African music and culture Tunde Ogundipe, talking about the company’s strategy with the Afro Hub. “It’s no longer just mainstream music from West Africa available for discovery. It’s now trending music and regional playlists from the West, East, Central, and South Africa,” said Ogundipe. “It’s a much wider and more inclusive net, an amalgamation of all the different areas of the continent represented equally, providing more balance than before.” He also described African Heat as “like our RapCaviar” with an educational role to play for Spotify’s wider audience. “There’s this whole burgeoning pop scene that’s happening in Africa that you guys need to be hip to…”