Is Africa on course to becoming one of the world’s strongest digital markets?
Well, if data published in International Federation of Phonographic Industries‘ annual report is anything to go by, the answer to that question is…yes.
Details on the continent’s digital development below…
Almost two decades after international distribution of the compact cassette pushed the likes of Daddy Lumba and the Ivorian Magic System, today’s African music market has seen the YouTube-fuelled rises of their predecessors spark a slow but certain digital rise in the continent.
Indeed, with Kenya’s music market boasting an estimated worth of $50 million, the arrival of West African acts such as Tiwa Sawage, D’banj, Fuze ODG and Wiz Kid has seen industry eyes turn to the continent after the latter three penetrated the British music scene with unit-moving results.
For,after selling over 200,000 copies of his ‘Afrobeat’ jam ‘Antenna‘, the Ghanaian ODG was awarded a Silver certification by the British Phonographic Industry, while the Nigerian D’banj nab 7 European Top 30 chart positions with 2012’s ‘Oliver Twist.’
One of these, including the UK Top Ten spot he held with the number when it peaked at #9 in the nation.
All of this, failing to go unnoticed by the IFPI. For, despite currently being unable to provide data for some of the continent’s more promising arenas, have acknowledged its influence on the global market and the important smartphones will play in seeing its artists monetize their material!
Billboard Biz explains:
“The key platform is — similar to the developing story of India and China — the mobile phone. While smartphone penetration is low today in Africa, it is expected to skyrocket with the increasing availability of affordable Android phones from makers like Samsung, who operate on all price tiers of the global market. Nokia and BlackBerry also remain important players in some of these markets.
Mobile broadband grew rapidly, from 2% penetration in 2010 to 11% in 2013, and continues to accelerate, according to ITU.
At last month’s Billboard/Beats FM Music Day at Social Media Week Lagos, Roc Nation’s director of mobile strategies Briant Briggs was as excited as most people about the market’s potential.
“I think there is huge potential in the African Market, with the price of smart phones dropping and penetration rising over the next 18 months,” said Briggs, who is leading a more comprehensive rollout of Roc Nation’s operations across the continent. “As smartphone use rises, there will be more consumption of content, including music.”