There is currently an intense focus on building music industry structures across Africa, to support musicians and local managers and labels, as well as the big western companies piling in to these markets.
The IFPI is also at work: yesterday it announced that its Sub-Saharan Africa office will be administering the International Standard Recording Code [ISRC] data system for the continent (bar South Africa, where it’s already managed by another entity) and will be holding virtual seminars this month to teach musicians how to use it.
Data of all kinds is a priority for the IFPI in Africa, as its licensing and policy lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, Adipo Otieno, explained at the Midem Africa conference last week. “Data is something that is also very critical, and for us we look at it in terms of getting reliable, accurate data which can enable stakeholders in the industry to plan,” said Otieno. “Because without proper data, you are not able to plan. And we believe that investors are incentivised to invest in sub-Saharan Africa with the proper data. If there is data that gives market certainty and proper projections and focus, then they’re able to invest.”
For ISRC data, the emphasis is on getting musicians paid, but it’s all part of a drive to create those wider structures.