According to the IFPI, Sub-Saharan Africa generated $70.1m of revenues from recorded music in 2021 – one of the first times we’ve had an ‘official’ industry figure for the region. That was up by 9.6% year-on-year, but how might it grow in the next few years?
Research firm Dataxis has made some predictions that are worth chewing over. They’re for Africa’s music streaming revenues. Unlike the figure above, these are forecasts for the entire continent of Africa, including markets like Egypt, Morocco and Algeria that the IFPI counts separately in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Anyway, what is Dataxis’s crystal ball telling it? The company predicts that Africa’s annual music streaming revenues will grow from $92.9m in 2021 to $314.6m by 2026, while warning that internet penetration rates will be the main ceiling on this growth. “Streaming cannot go faster than infrastructure,” as the company put it.
Dataxis also noted that the majority of revenues are still coming from a minority of African countries: around 40% from South Africa, and 86% from that country plus Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Algeria – the top five markets in the region.
(If you’re wondering, comparisons between Dataxis’s numbers and the IFPI’s official figures are a bit tricksy. The latter’s Global Music Report outlined $49.2m of streaming revenues for Sub-Saharan Africa, and another $89.5m for MENA. Way more than the $92.9m suggested by Dataxis’s estimates – but our sense is that the latter do not include the ‘Middle East’ part of MENA.)
Anyway, the $314.6m figure will be seized upon by companies and bodies keen to get more investment into Africa’s music economies and infrastructure, as sign of the potential growth and rewards.
For more on what’s happening in the region, listen to our recent podcast episode with Godwin Tom and Elizabeth Sobowale from the Music Business Academy (MBA) for Africa, in which they talked about trends and changes in Africa’s music industries.
Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!