Beyond World Music: Why Global Recording Labels Are Expanding in Africa

Music streaming giant Spotify is seemingly everywhere. But they are not the only ones expanding their activities in Africa, global music labels are increasingly looking to the continent for new artists and market leaders too. Some of these include Mavins Global,Empire,Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Concord Records and Roc Nation with the latter helping Nigerian artists wizkid, burna boy, Davido and other fast rising artist break into the US market and reach

In the past few years, Africa has emerged as a major market for music labels.

Fueled by a growing young-people population, great musical talent, great culture and more streaming opportunities, Africa’s music industry is booming. And the world’s major music labels are taking notice.

Why are global music labels expanding in Africa?

1. The continent’s population is young and growing fast: According to the UN, Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world. This means that there are plenty of potential consumers who can be reached through marketing campaigns targeting young people. In addition, many African countries have high birth rates which will result in more consumers entering the market over time. For instance, Nigeria was ranked as having one of the fastest growing populations globally due to its high fertility rate (4) and increasing life expectancy at birth (5). Furthermore, recent data shows that Nigeria is expected to have more than 200 million people by 2050 (6).

2. Global music trends are changing: The global music industry has been undergoing some major changes recently with streaming becoming increasingly popular among consumers around the world — especially in Africa a continent Fueled by growing young-people population, great musical talent, great culture, and more streaming opportunities, Africa’s music industry is booming.

In 2017, Forbes reported that Nigeria was the world’s fastest-growing market for recorded music — up 20% from 2016 — and it’s not alone.

The African continent is a hotbed of musical activity. On top of the fact that it’s home to some of the world’s most well-known musicians (such as Fela Kuti, Angelique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour) and of course the emerging of wizkid, davido, burna boy and the likes. there are new artists emerging every day.

The biggest reason why major labels are so interested in Africa right now? The growth potential is huge. A study by MIDiA Research predicts that digital music revenues will reach US$2.36bn in 2022 in sub-Saharan Africa alone — representing an increase of 40% from 2018.

Global music labels are starting to look into new markets, especially in Africa. Our continent holds a variety of opportunities and challenges for the industry. These two factors have placed even more emphasis on sustainable growth objectives. Understanding how some global music labels have expanded in Africa is enough to pique any marketer's interest.


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