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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


Oriental News 2024 Summit: Muda Yusuf to Lead Discussion on Nigeria’s Path to Green Economy Transition 



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Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Center for The Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, would drive discussion on Nigeria’s policy direction to establishing pathway towards economic recovery in line with global green economy initiative.

Muda Yusuf

Muda Yusuf

Yusuf, a renowned economist and former Director General, DG, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, is the chairman of the 3rd National Conference being put together by Oriental News Nigeria, coming up on July 25th, 2024, at Radisson Blue GRA Ikeja, Lagos by 9am.

In recent years, economies all around the world have been experiencing a protracted slowdown driven by structural, global, and cyclical factors. Economic strategies that have been implemented to tackle recession and achieve rapid economic development have endangered sustainable growth by contributing to environmental degradation, global warming, and other negative repercussions.

Changing the paradigm to a green economy will boost natural capital stocks, safeguard the environment, and ensure social justice by providing practical tools and approaches to achieve sustainable growth while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

A transition to a green economy, however, faces challenges such as a lack of an appropriate policy framework, inadequate capital expenditure, varying levels of development, and resource endowments.

Therefore, for green sustainable development, newer business models, strategic changes and innovation in the use of resources, responsible and cleaner business practices, and green technologies are needed.

Above issues will form part of discussion to be spearheaded by Yusuf, who will further highlight challenges and how to accelerate the process.

Also, the Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MD/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, will be addressing key energy professionals and other government officials on the Agency’s current drive towards delivering clean and reliable electricity across Nigeria.

Aliyu, who has confirmed his participation at the conference will take audience through World Bank approved Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project

At the event also, the Director General, D-G of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, would be x-raying key policies and options available in the country’s drive to strengthen her national economy while aligning with global push towards promoting green economy.

All of these will be the high point at the 3rd National Conference.

Oriental News Nigeria a leading digital media platform would gather key policy makers, Government and non-Governmental Organisations, industry experts in Nigeria’s financial sector to the conference which revolves around Nigeria’s Green Economy Initiative.

The theme of the 2024 Conference: ” Green Economy, Sustainable Growth and Infrastructure Transformation” considers various options available for Nigeria to sustain economic development and growth.

Sub-themes of the conference include, Green Finance, marketing, and supply chain, Strategies and Policies for a green economy, Renewable energy and Ecosystem for a green economy and Digital economy Entrepreneurship.

Agama, who has confirmed his attendance, expressed the belief that opportunities in terms of green economy are linked to the enormous possibilities for sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, ecotourism, and coastal development.

Also, other stakeholders have highlighted that Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its natural resource potential could make the country a pioneer in promoting green economy development, hence the choice of the theme of the conference.

The conference is segmented into two main broad areas, with the opening programme to address the key thematic topic through the guest speakers intervention and chairmans remarks with comments from participants which centers around the conference theme.

The second segment is round-table discussion through wider engagement by select professionals to discuss the main theme and sub-themes of the conference.

The conference will draw together and engage researchers, eminent practitioners, and policymakers from across the country who will form part of the plenary (Round-Table) session that will deliberate on the latest findings on practices and policies for a green economy and sustainable growth through strategic change and identify priorities for action by stakeholders to pursue the most promising policies and practices.

The conference will also serve as a venue where academic peers may exchange information, share experiences, collaborate, and develop management answers to pressing business issues.

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5 Core Business Areas where AI can Drive Revenue



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By Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria.

According to the United Nations, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 – of which $1.2 trillion could be generated by Africa. With the potential to unlock significant growth and development in key industries across the continent, AI is fundamentally changing how businesses operate, driving innovation, improving efficiencies, and transforming lives.

Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria

Businesses of all sizes that have already invested in AI are reaping its benefits, from increasing business productivity and agility to improving customer experience and decision-making with McKinsey noting that AI leaders are outperforming their industry peers by a factor of 3.4.

But if businesses are to make the most of the opportunities offered by AI, it’s also important that it be deployed in the areas where it will have the greatest impact. Here are some areas and subsequent examples of how businesses can use AI within those areas to drive revenue.

1. Finance and billing

One of the most obvious places AI can help drive revenue in a business is in finances and billing. Having an accurate, up-to-date overview of finances can help an organisation know when to invest in growth, for example. And if a business wants a steady revenue flow, it must send out bills, invoices, and payment reminders on time.

Here, AI can help in several ways. When it comes to expense bills, for example, an AI tool with built-in image recognition would allow a business to scan its bills with the system, then auto-generate the amount, place, date, time, and category of expense, helping save loads of time and effort. For billing, meanwhile, AI can greatly speed up the onboarding process for new clients by automating large parts of it. AI-powered tools can also extract relevant information from invoices, including customer details and product descriptions, and automatically populate billing systems, creating further efficiency.

2. Lead prioritisation

Another key area is new business leads. More specifically, AI can help assess the calibre of leads that the sales team is bringing in. After all, two or three great leads can be more beneficial than 10 weak ones.

Using a points-based system, AI can help score leads according to their quality. That allows the sales team to better evaluate which leads are worth pursuing. In turn, that should allow them to make more sales at a more meaningful level.

3. Improved customer experience

Customer experience (CX), rather than product or price differences, has been the major differentiator for businesses for some time now. Customers are willing to spend more, are more likely to stay loyal, and recommend a business to friends and family if they have a good experience with it.

Businesses, therefore, need to pull out more stops than ever to ensure that their customer experience really stands out. Here again, AI can be helpful. Take sentiment analysis, for example. AI can help identify the most disgruntled customers, allowing customer success teams to focus on their needs and turn their experience of the business around.

4. Better targeted marketing

The most effective marketing today is highly personalised and targeted. AI can make it significantly easier to achieve the level of targeted personalisation necessary for marketing success today. Once integrated with a company’s data, an AI marketing tool can create and hone personalised marketing content based on each individual customer’s CRM data.

5. Enhanced employee productivity

There is a strong correlation between employee productivity and revenue. Employee productivity is in turn driven by positive employee experiences. The more productive your employees are, the higher your revenues and profit margins will be. AI can help improve both productivity and the overall employee experience by automating repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on the kind of meaningful work that drives increased revenues.

Embrace AI, but use the right providers

While AI can add immense value when it comes to driving revenue within organisations, it’s also critical that businesses know what they’re getting into when embracing AI. That means doing comprehensive background research and ensuring that they choose tools that meet their needs and adhere to privacy best practices.

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NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria



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National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has granted approval to Future One Africa Television (FOA TV), a pan-African television station, to begin operations.

NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria

This followed a significant investment of $7 million by Idris-Etanami Abiodun Usman, network’s CEO, to establish a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility.

With NBC’s approval, C54News is now cleared to launch its innovative programming, showcasing the diversity and richness of African cultures, talents, and experiences.

The network promises to deliver high-quality content, including news, documentaries, entertainment shows, and more, catering to a diverse audience across the continent.

FOA TV’s cutting-edge technology and creative approach aim to redefine the television landscape in Africa, providing a platform for African voices, stories, and perspectives to shine.

The network has assembled a team of experienced professionals, including renowned journalists, producers, and presenters, to drive its vision forward.

As C54News prepares to take over the airwaves, audiences can expect a fresh and exciting broadcasting experience that reflects the complexity and beauty of Africa.

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