African music tops revenue growth worldwide, IFPI report

A man listening to music.

Led by Amapiano from South Africa and Afro-beats from West Africa, the African music tune is on the verge of conquering the world if an international music report released this week is anything to go by.

And it is not just about Amapiano and Afro-beats as the report has it that Kenyan music and the entire East Africa region has its music revenues and reach on a trajectory path, a sign that the sector has a promising future.

The global recorded music market grew by 9 per cent in 2022, driven by growth in paid subscription streaming.

According to IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, last year, Sub-Saharan Africa became the fastest-growing region - worldwide - in terms of recorded music revenue growth. The report has it that the region recorded more than 30 per cent growth (34.7 per cent) a fact that was driven largely by a significant boost to revenues in the region's largest market, South Africa.

"It continues to be a very exciting time for music in Sub-Saharan Africa. In an incredibly nuanced market with lots of different cultures and music scenes, we can see how the proactive presence and investment of record companies here is driving the development of healthy music markets, creating opportunities for local artists and fostering local cultures. It's imperative that we continue to work with governments across the region to ensure we have the right policies in place for a thriving recording industry," says Angela Ndambuki, the IFPI Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa.

The figures released in IFPI's Global Music Report show total trade revenues for 2022 were US$26.2 billion.

Subscription audio streaming revenues increased by 10.3 per cent to US$12.7 billion and there were 589 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2022.

Total streaming (including both paid subscription and advertising-supported) grew by 11.5 per cent to reach US$17.5 billion, or 67.0 per cent of total global recorded music revenues. There was growth in other areas too with physical revenues remaining resilient (+4.0 per cent); performance rights revenue increasing by 8.6 per cent and returning to pre-pandemic levels; and synchronisation income climbing by 22.3 per cent.

Commenting on the release of the Global Music Report, IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore, said: "This year's report tells the continued story of record companies' commitment to their core mission - working with artists to help them achieve their greatest creative and commercial potential over the course of a career. That requires an artist-label partnership that constantly evolves and innovates so that it can capitalise on opportunities in more business areas.

"Record companies' investment and innovation have helped make music even more globally interconnected than ever, building out local teams around the world, and working with artists from a growing variety of music scenes. This is driving music's development whilst enabling fans to seize the expanding opportunities to embrace and celebrate their own local artists and culture.

"However, as the opportunities for music continue to expand, so too do the areas in which record companies must work to ensure that the value of the music artists is recognised. This challenge is becoming increasingly complex as a greater number of actors seek to benefit from music whilst playing no part in investing in and developing it."

Asia grew by 15.4 per cent with its largest market, Japan, seeing a growth of 5.4 per cent whilst the second largest market, China, grew by more than 20 per cent, becoming a global top-five market for the first time. In a continuing trend, Asia also accounted for almost half of the global physical revenues at 49.8 per cent

Australasia experienced growth of 8.1 per cent, an increase on the prior year's growth rate while revenues in Europe, the second-largest recorded music region in the world, grew by 7.5 per cent, with the region's three biggest markets; UK, Germany and France, all posting gains. Latin America saw gains of 25.9 per cent, maintaining more than 10 years of regional increases. Every market in the region posted double-digit growth.

Middle East and North Africa, which was previously the fastest growing market had the third highest growth rate in 2022 with the USA and Canada region - the world's largest in revenue terms - growing by 5.0 per cent. The world's single biggest market, the USA, grew by 4.8 per cent - exceeding US$10 billion for the first time.

IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing more than 8,000 record company members across the globe.

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