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Nigerian music gross N2trn with streams

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By Abraham Adekunle

Artistes and promoters reap from flow of windfall from streaming platforms.

The Nigerian music industry has come a long way in the last decade. Back then, artistes had limited means of income and exposure to opportunities. Musicians had to be signed by a record label or risk obscurity. Fast forward a couple of years later, Nigerian music industry has become the country new gold mine with recording artists, their promoters and the nation’s economy reaping big from the windfall that daily flows in from streaming applications.

According to data from the 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 (N1.5 trillion) in revenue per year. The firm added that Afrobeats, which is the rave of the moment, contributes a sizable chunk of this valuation. Additionally, in the latest report of a data company, Statista, streaming royalties due to Nigerian artists from digital distribution platforms streaming their songs revenue are projected to hit $44million (N3.3 trillion) by the end of 2023.

Revenue generated by Nigerian artistes and the industry.

Statista also stated that the Nigerian music industry revenue grew from $26 million in 2014 to $34 million in 2018. As of December 2022, an artist earned $0.0033 per stream on Spotify, which is a total of $3,300 per one million streams. The average pay rate per stream on Apple Music is $0.01, which is $10,000 per one million streams. On YouTube, it is $0.18 per view, $18 per 1,000 advert views, and $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.

July 2023, the online streaming platform, Spotify, revealed that Nigerian artistes earned over N11 billion from the platform in 2022. The platform said that revenue generated by the Nigerian music industry grew by 63 percent from 2021 to 2022. For Nigerian artistes, revenue generated from Spotify alone grew by 74 percent over the same period. According to Spotify’s Managing Director for sub-Saharan Africa, Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, “The number of Nigerian artistes that generated more than N5 million and N10 million in royalties from Spotify alone has increased by nearly 25 percent in 2022.” This figure represents only revenue generated from Spotify and does not take into account earnings from other services.

Spotify boss says company is committed to Nigerian creators.

Muhutu-Remy 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 news correspondents on the exponential growth of the industry, Dr. Debo Akinlaja, said that the industry has the potential to become the country third largest export after crude oil and natural gas if properly harnessed. He said that the industry currently employs millions of youths in one way or the other and provides employment and income to many Nigerians across the country.

He said that 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 N2 trillion per year. “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. Findings have revealed that the growth of the industry is driven largely by an increase in streaming and downloads of the Afrobeat genre by the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Afrobeat accounts for 70% of the majority of income generated.

Pioneered and popularized 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 percussions. It has been revealed that revenue from streaming and downloads of Afrobeat tunes accounts 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. His album, “Rave & Roses,” became the longest-charting African album on the Billboard 200 in the United States, coming 137 on the Billboard 200 just after 30 weeks.

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