Emerging African Music Business is Great Source of Money, Talent

After long-term challenges with widespread piracy and a widely disparate radio and record industry, a burgeoning legitimate music scene is fast emerging on the continent of Africa.

An expanding middle class, a fast-growing population with more than 65 percent under  age 35,  and digital startups helping to leapfrog infrastructure weaknesses are making major African cities emerge as not only sources of great local talent that can go global in a meaningful way, but also markets and venues for U.S. and other global artists touring and selling their music.

“Africa is the last big secret in the music world, and it’s just about to blow up,” says Obi Asika, CEO of Lagos, Nigeria-based media and entertainment company, Storm 360. “In South Africa and the associated regions around southern Africa, [the business and music industry ] are much more structured, more like the West.”

Universal, the world’s largest music company, encouraged by its French media and telecommunications parent Vivendi, has been keeping an eye on the fast-evolving markets in Africa and is starting to make some moves there. Randall Abrahams, managing director of Universal Music South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, adds, “The African industry is an extremely exciting and vibrant music marketplace right now.”

All of this portends good news — and visions of dollar signs — for a beleaguered industry on the prowl for new revenue resources. Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populated continent with more than 1 billion inhabitants.

With Apple’s iTunes store due to launch in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana in 2013, Abrahams notes that the imminent arrival of such digital platforms aligned with ongoing advances “by continental collection agencies, means that the sub-Saharan territory along with other emerging markets is a major source of growth for Universal”…

Read More: billboard.biz

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