Boost for Nigeria's music with streaming apps grossing N2trillion
Music streaming platforms


Nigeria’s music industry has become the country’s new gold mine with recording artists, their promoters and the nation’s economy reaping big from the windfall that daily flows in from streaming apps.

According to data from accounting firm, PwC, the Nigerian music industry, which is one of the fastest-growing creative industries in the world, is currently estimated at $19 billion in valuation and generates over $2 billion (N1.5trillion) in revenue per year.

PwC further added that Afrobeats, which is the rave of the moment, contributes a sizeable chunk of this valuation.

Also, a data company, Statista, projected in its latest report that streaming royalties due to Nigerian artists from digital distribution platforms streaming their songs revenue will hit $44million (N3.3triilion) by the end of 2023.

According to Statista, the Nigerian music sector’s revenue grew from $26million in 2014 to $34million in 2018.

BH checks revealed that as at December 2022, an artist earned $0.0033 per stream totalling $3,300 per 1 million streamed on Spotify; average pay rate per stream of $0.01 ($10,000 per 1 million streams) on Apple Music and $0.18 per view, $18 per 1,000 advert views, and $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views on Youtube.

In July 2023, an online streaming platform, Spotify, disclosed that Nigerian artistes earned over N11 billion from the platform in 2022.

“In 2022, revenues generated by Nigerian artistes from Spotify alone reached over N11 billion, while Nigerian music industry revenues overall have grown by 63 per cent from 2021 to 2022.

“Revenues generated by Nigerian artistes from Spotify alone grew 74 per cent over the same period.

“The number of Nigerian artistes that generated more than N5 million and N10 million in royalties from Spotify alone has increased by nearly 25 per cent in 2022.

“This figure represents revenue generated from Spotify alone, and does not take into account earnings from other services”, said Spotify’s Managing Director for sub-Saharan Africa, Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy.

The Spotify boss also assured that the firm would be committed to ensuring Nigerian creators earn more from their art by exposing them to 550 million active users on the platform.

A developmental economist, who spoke to our correspondent on the exponential growth of the industry, Dr. Debo Akinlaja, said the industry has the potential to become the country’s third largest export after crude oil and natural gas if properly harnessed.

According to him, the music industry currently employs millions of youths in one way or the other and provides employment and income to many Nigerians across the country.

“Even without government support and encouragement, the industry is flying on its own. Based on estimates, the sector is grossing a conservative revenue of between N1.5 trillion to N2trillion annually.

“You can imagine how far it will go if the same attention given to other sectors of the economy like oil and agriculture is given to it”, Akinlaja noted.

The growth of the industry, BH findings revealed, is driven largely by an increase in streaming and downloads of the Afrobeats genre by the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Pioneered and popularised by Fela in the 1960s, Afrobeat is a Nigerian music genre that involves the combination of West African musical styles (such as traditional Yoruba music and highlife, American funk, jazz, and soul influences, with a focus on chanted vocals, complex intersecting rhythms, and percussion.

Revenue from streaming and downloads of Afrobeat tunes is said to account for over 70 percent of the majority of income generated.

For instance, Nigeria Afrobeat singer, Rema (Divine Ikubor), in August broke the 40-year-old record held by the legendary King Sunny Ade, as his album, Rave & Roses”, became the longest-charting African album on the Billboard 200 in the U.S, coming 137 on the Billboard 200 just after 30 weeks.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is rated based on streaming and sales activity.

With his staying power on the charts, Rema has dethroned King Sunny Ade and has secured his place in history as the artist with the longest-charting album by an African artiste in the United States.

The 23-year-old Afrobeats singer’s “Rave & Roses’’ has now spent its 30th week on the chart — as of August 18, 2023 — setting a new record.

Also in June 2023, another Nigerian Afrobeats musician, Burna Boy, hit one billion streams on Audiomack, becoming the first African to do so.

Like Spotify, Audiomack is a music streaming platform that allows creators to share unlimited music and podcast contents.

“Congratulations, Burna Boy on becoming the first African Artist to hit 1 billion Audiomack streams”, the streaming firm had announced in June.

Burna Boy also made history by becoming the first African artist to headline a solo concert in a UK stadium. He sold out the 80,000-capacity London Stadium and performed his “Love Damini” album and some of his hit songs. The London Stadium management acknowledged his achievement on Twitter.

The Bayelsa-born musician also performed at the Champions League Kick-off Show in Istanbul, Turkey, and performing some of his hit songs like ‘It’s Plenty’ and ‘Last Last’.

He had shared the stage with top artists like the Brazilian pop star Anitta.

Apart from Spotify, Audiomack and Apple Music, Nigerian artists like Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Joeboy, FireboyDML and many others are also making waves on major streaming apps like Wynk Music, TIDAL Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music and Boomplay and raking in millions of dollars weekly.

For example, Spotify’s highest most streamed artists are Wizkid with 4.6 billion streams, BurnaBoy with 3 billion streams, Ckay with 2 billion streams, Mr. Eazi with 1.4billion streams, and Davido with 1 billion streams as of July 2022 according to data by Dataleum, an international data and research firm.

Apart from the artists, royalties are also paid to songwriters, composers, online publishers and other copyright holders.

Speaking on the growth of the local music industry, Akinlaja attributed it to many factors, especially the growth of the Information and Technology (IT) sector.

“The social media has provided a unique outlet for the expansive and ever-evolving Nigeria’s creative industry.

“With a rich history spanning over a century, Nigeria’s music industry has evolved in many ways to become a symbol of Nigerian culture and a major contributor to the country’s economy.

“If properly annexed, the sector could be the main earner of foreign exchange for the country, apart from crude oil and gas.

“It has a huge fan base across the world, especially in the U.S and Europe. You can recall that Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, during a recent visit to Nigeria, disclosed that his daughter told him that he was going to Nigeria to enjoy the music of Burnaboy, Davido, Wizkid and Rema.

“Gates did not disappoint his daughter. He made sure that the mentioned artists performed for him before he left Nigeria.

“The potential of the sector is huge. I hope government can tap into it to take many jobless youths off the streets, apart from it serving as a huge source of revenue”, Akinlaja advised.

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