IFPI has released the 2020 Global Music Report, revealing the effect of music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and Boomplay in Africa on music sales and revenue. This growth is in line with the global trend over the past year, where streaming services accounted for 62.1% of global music revenue. Performance rights revenues took the biggest hit as major concerts and events got cancelled amid the covid-19 pandemic.

Streaming played a major role in alleviating the pain resulting in a lack of physical performances and contributed a mammoth 71.9% of Africa’s music revenue according to Universal Music Group. South Africa and the Middle East continued to control much of the revenue generated with other Sub-Saharan countries showing an increase in uptake in the streaming services. On a year on year basis streaming saw revenues up by 36.4%.

“The easing of internet costs in South Africa, at a time the country experienced the continent’s largest corona pandemic outbreak and longest lockdowns, may have led to the increase in uptake of streaming services. Overall South Africa and the MENA region received 80 percent of the region’s music revenue,” said Sipho Dlamini, CEO Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Recorded music revenues in the Africa & Middle East region increased by 8.4% in 2020 outpacing the global recorded music market grew by 7.4%, the sixth consecutive year of growth, according to IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.

Global revenue growth was attributed to streaming, especially by paid subscription streaming revenues, which increased by 18.5%. There were 443 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2020. Total streaming grew 19.9% and reached 62.1% of total global recorded music revenues.

Commenting on the report, IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore, said, “Fuelled by record companies’ ongoing investment in artists and their careers, along with innovative efforts to help artists bring music to fans in new ways, recorded music revenues grew globally for the sixth consecutive year, driven by subscription streaming. As record companies continue to expand their geographical footprint and cultural reach, music has become more globally connected today, than ever before and this growth has spread across all regions around the globe. With many impacted by the pandemic, and concerned with growing social injustices, record companies have worked hard to make a meaningful, lasting contribution to the world we want to live in.”

During the same period, there has been an increase in the signing of African artists in global recording labels that are expected to increase revenue in the coming years.

“We are encouraged that the world is embracing music from Africa as seen in the rising nominations and recognition into major global music awards witnessed recently. The fact that this year’s report has for the first time featured Africa and Middle East Region is testament to the increasing opportunities that have been accentuated by the recent launch of major streaming platforms and we are excited to see the growth in the coming years,” said Angela Ndambuki, Regional Director, IFPI Sub-Saharan Africa.