Midem Music Pulse – 5 Current Trends in the African Music Industry

From Lagos to Abidjan and Kampala, artists and executives are taking action to shake their local industries by building local business adapted to local realities to nurture their talent and bring their music and creativity to the world.

Midem Music Pulse helps you understand the main challenges and key trends shaping the future of the international music business via exclusive content from the Midem conference programme.

Every 2 months, Midem conference team offers you a curated eye on Midem conferences programme to discover insightful business tips, key facts and global strategies on vibrant topics of the music industry.

Discover 5 ways the African music industries are changing their own narrative!

WP Africa

1. Empowering and structuring locally-built African music industries

I think there should normally be structures well organised, created by Africans in Africa, to sell our songs, our albums…” – Fally Ipupa, Artist (Democratic Republic of Congo)

This quote is excerpted from Midem Digital Edition 2020 “Artists Voices in Francophone Africa: A’salfo x Fally Ipupa x Youssou N’Dour” conference. With the recent Africa Day organised on May 25th by WAN, artists’ voices from the continent are on everyone’s mind. In a powerful trio keynote, Midem brings together some of the most influential and respected artists from the Francophone Africa Youssou N’Dour, A’salfo and Fall Ipupa. All representing different generations, different countries and different music genres but united as artists who are very much engaged in the structuring and professionalisation of their music industries, they will share their vision on the role of artists in the continent’s music scenes.


2. Entering global music scenes

They saw commercial viability… They understand streams, they understand views, they understand things going viral!” – Tuma Basa, Director of Urban Music, Youtube (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Midem Digital Edition 2020 “African Hip-Hop Globalisation” conference. In this online conversation, Youtube’s Urban Director Tuma Basa and Artist Manager Thabiso Khati will share their vision on the African music globalization phenomenon, giving exclusive insights on keys to success and analysing challenges that can arise on the way to the top of the global game.


3. Facilitating creation and building powerful catalogues

We’ve seen an influx of songs… They’re speaking about encouragement, they’re speaking about creation of awareness, and they are also relatable” – Martha Huro, Director East Africa, Boomplay (Kenya)

This quote is excerpted from Midem Digital Edition 2020 “Covid19 & Digital Music Consumption in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities & Future Projects” conference. This panel discussion seeks to look deeply into how the African Music industry (particularly in the East and West Africa regions) are being affected by the current pandemic situation. How drastically has the pandemic affected artistes’ revenue? What psychological effect does staying at home and not being in transit and performing on big stages, have on artists? How has Covid-19 affected music release and distribution and what is the data saying with respect to music streaming habits? Has streaming witnessed a Doom or Boom in this era and what are the expected positive and negative impact post Covid?


4. Adopting a grassroots approach to the business

We should see what has been done, learn from it and then tweak it to our market. (…) This is a time where it’s important to look for services within the country and the continent and outside, that are able to support and tailor their product to here” – Wanjiku Koinange, COO, Mdundo (Kenya) 

This quote is excerpted from Midem Digital Edition 2020 “Reinventing monetisation sources in East Africa” conference. This panel discussion focuses on booming East Africa and markets like Tanzania, Kenya or Uganda. Following the footsteps of Nigeria’s Afrobeats, the region’s Bongo Flava genre is breaking frontiers and reaching new international audiences thanks to streaming, social media and the power of the diaspora. In relatively new structured music industries, the region is reinventing ways to monetise music, especially a time when events and live shows are on hold due to Covid-19. Tanzanian superstar Vanessa Mdee will discuss with industry experts Cleopatra Mukula and Wanjiku Koinange will discuss the specificities of the region’s music industry its key trends, challenges and opportunities.


5. Reclaiming What African Music Is

There’s a tendency to always put African music and African artists in a bucket, and that bucket is called ‘World Music’. We want to change that perception.” – Mathew Knowles, CEO & Founder, Music World Entertainment (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Midem Digital Edition 2020 “MePlaylist: a Startup from Lagos to the World” conference. The African music industries are as diverse as there are countries but one thing they all have in common is the fast growing the digitalisation of the continent and the rise of music streaming. We now count a number of locally-built services that adapt their offer to local needs and consumption habits, helping artists from the continent reach international recognition. This panel highlights Meplaylist as one of these services that you need to have on your radar, and a true example of a global streaming platform coming from the continent with an international perspective and high-level investors.

Comments are closed.