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How Have Podcasts Contributed to the Rise of Afrobeats? 



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By Ncebakazi Manzi Podcast Manager: Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa

The rise of Afrobeats over the past decade or so has been nothing short of remarkable. From the streets of Nigeria and Ghana, it has become a global phenomenon, with some of the world’s biggest artists collaborating with Afrobeats icons and emerging artists alike.

In a sign of how rapid the ascent of Afrobeats has been, Spotify recently held events in Nigeria celebrating 13 billion streams of the genre. The growth of Afrobeats is unlikely to slow down anytime soon either, especially as streaming continues to grow across Africa.

According to research firm Statista, the continent’s streaming market is set to grow from US$362.5 million this year to US$513.2 million in 2027. Combine that expansion with significant diaspora populations and you have the ingredients for further inter-continental pollination and growth.

But there are other forces advancing the growth of Spotify. Podcasts in particular are playing an increasingly important role. That’s true not just on the African continent, but around the world too.

Africa’s podcast growth

Before looking at how podcasts and music streaming services have complemented each other to drive Afrobeats’ growth, it’s worth providing some additional context around the evolution of podcasts in Africa.

Thanks to rising smartphone adoption and increasingly affordable connectivity, the medium has seen significant growth across the continent. In fact, podcast listenership in Nigeria grew by an astonishing 222% between 2021 and 2022.

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just listenership that’s grown but production too. While it’s difficult to get an exact idea of how many African-produced podcasts there actually are, you only need to open your podcasting app and type a few continent and country-specific search terms in to see how much choice there is today. These podcasts cover a growing number of niches too, including Afrobeats.

At the recent Afrobeats celebration events that were held in Lagos, Nigeria, the first day featured Spotify for Podcasters sessions which were focused on empowering creators and showcasing top podcasts. These events included a workshop on the basics of podcasting followed by a panel discussion with Nigerian podcasters. Next were live podcast recordings of a Spotify for Artists Masterclass on “Afrobeats Intelligence” and “I Said what I Said” featuring Afrobeats artists, Pheelz and Nissi. The day ended with a surprise performance by Pheelz bringing Afrobeats lovers and the expanding community of podcasters together.

Spreading the word about Afrobeats 

There are a number of high quality podcasts with an Afrobeats focus that not only highlight tracks from the genre but also delve into meaningful discussions related to the music.

Take Afrobeats Intelligence, for example. Founded by award-winning Nigerian music journalist Joey Akan, the podcast is a spin-off of his newsletter of the same name. And while it may be rooted in Nigeria, the podcast celebrates creative excellence from across the African continent.

Terms and Conditions by Pulse, meanwhile, dissects worthy culture-related conversations with insights and varying perspectives. Hosted by Neo Akpofure, ex BBNaija housemate, Oyindasola Chekwa ESQ, a lifestyle influencer and content creator and Sayo AK an artist, planner, and entrepreneur. The podcast was launched in 2021 and also provides invaluable insights into the music industry from people who’ve been in the thick of it.

An older offering comes in the shape of Loose Talk, hosted by the trio of veteran media and music journalists Osagie Alonge, Steve Dede, and Ayomide Tayo. Founded in 2016, when the African podcasting scene was still in its infancy, the show discusses all things music and culture. After a three year hiatus, Loose Talk started putting out new episodes this year.

Complementary mediums 

That these and other shows have built sustainable offerings not only demonstrates the hunger to learn more about Afrobeats as a genre but also their potential to grow the genre’s popularity both in Africa and around the world. That shouldn’t be too surprising either. Being audio-driven mediums primarily, podcasts and music can be incredibly complementary mediums.

This ability to act as a promotional vehicle is underlined by our own Spotify data. It shows that the country with the highest number of Afrobeats podcast listeners is the UK, beating out Nigeria, with the US in third spot.

For listeners, it’s easy to imagine how this symbiosis between streaming and podcasts comes about. They might have a friend recommend an Afrobeats artist or have their curiosity sparked by a song featured on the soundtrack for a movie or series. Once they’ve listened to those songs, they’ll likely want to find out more about the artist or to discover other, similar artists.

Podcasts offer them a convenient way of doing that (especially if they can access said podcasts from the same app), while also providing insights into the genre and news on the latest artist releases, collaborations, and developments.

Afrobeats and beyond 

While Afrobeats has undoubtedly been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Africa’s podcasting explosion, there is no doubt that other genres are benefitting and will benefit in the future too. As more and more African producers launch their own podcasts and smartphone penetration and connectivity continue to grow across the continent, that symbiotic influence will only keep growing.

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


Unveil Your Audio Odyssey With Spotify’s Wrapped Personalized User Experience



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It’s that time of the year again when music enthusiasts get to lean on Spotify to dive in and get a revelation of their top listening moments of the year.  Spotify Wrapped 2023 is upon us and individuals are ready to embark on their sonic adventure.

This year, Spotify Wrapped introduces listeners to an overview of their music preferences through an access to their personalized 2023 Wrapped experience. Spotify users will be able to exclusively unveil their listening journey on the Spotify mobile app on iOS and Android and also via web view on mobile or Desktop on

Please make sure your Spotify app is updated to the latest version to access. The experience started rolling out to users globally on November 29 at 2PM WAT/ 3PM SAST/ 4PM EAT.

As you check the receipts on your year in review, only your Wrapped results can reveal what you were really feeling in 2023. Here’s what to look out for:

  • New data stories bringing you to the heart of their listening: In addition to your top artists, genres, songs, podcasts and minutes listened, we’re adding a few new features to look out for.

    • Me in 2023 celebrates a streaming habit that defined your listening this year. The experience will reveal one of 12 listening characters that best describes the way you listened on Spotify this year – examples include the Shapeshifter (you’re quick to move from one artist to the next), the Luminary (you play light, upbeat music more than others), or the Alchemist (you create your own playlists more than others do).

    • Sound Town matches you to a city based on your listening and shared artist affinity. Listening habits are shared in surprising ways across communities around the world, and 2023 Wrapped celebrates that.

  • Wrapped fan-favorites appear in a refreshed way users haven’t seen before:

    • Top 5 Genres story shows you how your top five music genres stacked up with a new sandwich-inspired design.

    • Top 5 Artists lets you see the month your listening peaked for each artist – painting a fuller picture of your entire year and all the moments that made it.

    • You will also get to hear from one of your top artists directly within your personalized Wrapped via Your Artist Messages. You can then visit the Wrapped feed for video messages from more than 40,000 artists including Taylor Swift, Burna Boy, Bad Bunny, SZA, Dolly Parton and more. See HERE for a video compilation of the artist’s messages.

  • Wrapped Feed: Right on your Spotify Home screen, the Wrapped feed is the one-stop shop for all things Wrapped, including the best of editorial playlists, merch from your top artists, concerts near you, and more.

  • Bringing AI DJ and Blend to the Wrapped experience: You’ll also see Wrapped come to life through some of our favorite product features like DJ and Blend.

    • Spotify’s AI DJ will guide listeners through their personalized Wrapped – serving up the music you loved this year and sharing commentary about some of your favorite artists, genres, songs and more. The experience will be available for the first week after Wrapped launches.

    • This year, you can invite your friends to create a Blend and tap the ‘2023 Wrapped Top Songs’ filter to combine all of your top songs from this year into one shared playlist. 2023 Wrapped Integrations

  • Wrapped on the Pitch with FC Barcelona: As a part of the continued partnership between Spotify and FC Barcelona, fans can find videos from some of their favorite players, including Robert Lewandowski, Alexia Putella and Pedri, guessing each other’s Wrapped. Additionally, 2023 Wrapped will be featured on the LED screens at upcoming matches for the men’s team December 3rd and the women’s team on December 10.

  • Wrapped themed integrations: Easily access Your Top Songs 2023 by asking Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. You can also find Wrapped stickers on social platforms like WhatsApp and anywhere GIPHY Stickers are integrated.

Additionally, Spotify has also launched its Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists.  With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year.

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NCC Affirms Commitment to Strengthen Visual Arts Sector



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The Nigerin Copyright Commission (NCC) has reiterated its commitment to strengthening the visual arts sector and guarantee adequate protection and reward system for creators and other stakeholders in the industry.

Dr. John O. Asein, Director-General NCC, stated this while receiving the Society of Nigerian Arts (SNA) Honourary Fellowship in Abuja on November 9, 2023.

Dr. Asein acknowledged the significant contribution of the sector to Nigerian history, culture and economic development.

Recounting some of the recent initiatives of the Commission, including the Women Empowering Women in Intellectual Property (We Win IP) programme, he called on visual art practitioners to familairise themselves with their rights under the new Copyrigh Act.

He also announced the Commission’s intention to visit tertiary institutions across the country to propagate copyright knowledge and sensitise them on safeguarding their rights.

The Director-General thanked the Executive Committee of SNA for the honour bestowed on him and other awardees, saying that it was a wake up call for him to devote more time to art as a hobby.

Speaking earlier, the SNA President, Mr. Mohammed Sulaiman noted that as the umbrella body for all Nigerian professional visual artists, art groups and business associations in the country, SNA will continue to uphold the highest standards of professionalism to promote the sector and its contributions to national development.

Mr. Sulaiman commended the laudable efforts of the NCC, particulalry under the leadership of Dr. Asein, stating that “SNA has never had it so good.” He thanked the Federal Government for the new Copyright Act and reassured the Commission that the Society will collaborate with it to ensure that the objectives, as far as the visual art sector is concerned, are met.

Awards were also presented to distinguished individuals and institutions, including: Prof. Bruce Onabrakpeya, MFR who was conferred with the Lord of the Arts Award; His HRH Alh. Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano (Grand Patronship Award); Prof. Abba I. Tijani, Prof. Sunday Enesi Ododo and Dr. Simon Ikpakronyi (Distinguished Service Awards).

The youngest fellow, Master Kanyeyachukwu Tagbo-Okeke, received a special Award for his outstanding performance in the field of visual arts while the United States Embassy, the Embassies of the Republic of China and Spain also received Awards of Outstanding Cultural Diplomacy.

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Nollywood Targets to Generate $14.82B by 2025



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A report recently released by the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive) has revealed that the Nigerian entertainment industry is projected to reach an estimated $14.82 billion revenue in 2025, up from $4 billion revenue recorded in 2013.

The report, titled “Growth, Trends and Opportunity in Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Industry”, was written by NECLive, an entertainment research organisation.

According to NECLive founder, Ayeni Adekunle, the projections are based on the Africa Entertainment and Media Outlook 2023-2027, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global expert in accounting and business reengineering.

“In 2012, the industry encountered formidable challenges, causing frustration and disillusionment.

“However, that very frustration became the catalyst for a transformative spark, giving birth to the visionary concept of NECLive. This audacious initiative aimed to unite the nation’s finest creative and industry minds, facilitating dynamic brainstorming sessions, fostering invaluable networking opportunities, and showcasing exceptional talent.

“In 2013, the realisation of this dream became a remarkable reality,” Mr Adekunle said.

He said that for the many aspiring actors and actresses who have come into Nollywood and made it big, the growing numbers in revenue stand as a testament to the sweat and work of the last 10 years.

Mr Adekunle also said that the industry has undergone a remarkable shift from struggling to sell music tapes and gain airplay on radio stations to a phase where artists, managers, producers, directors, and labels are thriving on established structures, leading to increased international recognition and acceptance.

According to him, this paradigm shift highlights that music is not merely an art but a substantial source of revenue and that the film and comedy sectors have become intricately linked, transitioning to online platforms to adapt to modern technologies, and fostering sectoral growth.

The report provided an in-depth analysis of the financial performance across various industry sectors over the past decade, spanning from the music industry to film, fashion, and comedy.

Projections indicate an impressive 16.5 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in revenue over the next five years. This growth is attributed to various factors, including the rising internet accessibility among mobile users, with an expected increase from 54 million to 78 million subscribers within the timeframe.

Additionally, the surge in streaming platforms and the integration of innovative technology like Generative AI are poised to drive double-digit revenue growth.

The report also delves into the growth, trends, and opportunities in the Nigerian creative and entertainment industry over the last decade and outlines its future expansion plans.

The film sector’s evolution from producing and distributing 1,800 films worth $5.1 billion in 2013 to 2,500 films valued at $6.4 billion currently has positioned Nigeria as the world’s second-largest film producer.

The entertainment industry has undergone a remarkable shift from struggling to sell music tapes and gain airplay on radio stations to a phase where artists, managers, producers, directors, and labels are thriving on established structures, leading to increased international recognition and acceptance.

The era of cassette tapes and DVDs, the group further said, “had given way to a thriving scene marked by sold-out global concerts and tours, international and local awards such as the Grammys, Billboard, BET, MTV Europe Music Awards, and AMVCA, exclusive movie premieres and cinema viewings, topping charts and grossing billions through extensive streaming on digital platforms like IrokoTV, ShowMax, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.

“The entertainment industry boasts an impressive track record of milestones, projecting its superstars, projects, and creative works onto the global stage”.

The report stated that “For the many aspiring actors and actresses who have come into Nollywood and made it big, the growing numbers in revenue stands as a testament to the sweat and work put in place within the last ten years and beyond.

“The sector has moved from the production and distribution of 1,800 films worth $5.1 billion in 2013 to 2,500 films worth $6.4 billion and counting. This makes Nigeria the 2nd largest film producer in the world.”

“Amid progress, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges that once plagued the entertainment industry, such as high cases of piracy, which crippled profitability, and limited funding that hampered creativity as well as lack of international exposure.

“However, today’s landscape, shaped by the internet, streaming platforms like IrokoTV, Billboard, Netflix, and social media giants like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, and Snapchat, along with forums like the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive), which has for the past decade served as gathering for the industry giants, facilitated dialogues, provided solutions, and steered transformative changes within the industry,” the report stated.

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