The Sub-Saharan African music industry is a volcano waiting to erupt on the international scene. Talent abounds. The continent boasts a music-hungry population whose average age is under 20. And it is estimated that 500 million African citizens will own smartphones by 2020.

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Yet the African music sector currently accounts for just 2% of global music revenues and 1% of royalties collected, and is dogged by a legacy of rampant music piracy, troubled economies and weak or non-existent copyright laws which have penalized local musicians and discouraged investment from major music stake holders.

Midem African Forum

As the home of the global music community, 2018 saw Midem launch the High-Potential Markets programme featuring the African Forum in Cannes, to work with regional music companies, artists and legislators to structure and develop their industry on a national and international level.

In partnership with France’s major rights collection agency SACEM & La Culture avec “La Copie Privée”, and leading pan-African music media network TRACE, Midem representatives toured South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Republic of the Congo in April 2018 to meet with local music executives, artists, politicians and fans.

Key findings from this white paper

Midem today publishes an exclusive white paper devoted to the music business in Africa.

Its findings include:

  • Potential for developing the continent’s music industry is massive, driven by cross-genre talent and a music-hungry fan base that is young and mobile-friendly.
  • Major labels including Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment are showing renewed interest in doing business in Africa.
  • Artists, labels and governments need to improve understanding of the value of copyright, structure (or establish) their rights collection services and provide copyright protection.
  • The idea of creating a pan-African guild representing and promoting rights owners across Africa, providing a forum for cross-border discussion within the music business community and capable of lobbying at an inter-governmental level.Africa should launch more regional music streaming platforms carrying local artists.
  • There is a need to develop adequate concert venues and establish a network of talent agencies and management and simplify the movement of performing artists throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Discover Midem‘s 2018 initiative: the High-Potential Markets programme with first African Forum.