Streaming now tops music revenue – Africa take note

Streaming Now Tops

A few weeks ago I wrote about why African musicians should take streaming platforms more seriously and sure enough, IFPI released a ‘State of the Industry’ report last week stating that streaming now accounts for the majority of music revenue. African musicians need to take note and make the necessary moves to take advantage of this shift.

Let’s look at some key 2017 stats from the report:

  • Music Streaming revenue increased by 41.1% and, for the first time, became the single largest revenue source.
  • Digital revenues now account for more than half (54%) of the global recorded music market. Paid subscription audio streaming led the way
  • No African artist made the Top 10 digital singles or albums list
  • In total, streaming generated $7.1bn (£5bn), more than sales of CDs and vinyl.


The report is quite in depth but the one glaring omission when it comes to stats: Africa. Not that Africa did not get a mention, but the bulk of the report focused on every other continent. There were very few details on African music stats within the report. I do hate the fact that we have become accustomed to these reports underrepresenting the continent and we don’t say anything. We should demand more.

It is worthy of note that the other side of the coin sees Africa largely not set up to fully monitor our digital activities in the African Music Industry or general activities for that matter. Or maybe no one cares. This in itself is concerning but at the same time is an opportunity for development. What it tells me is that we have to find ways to represent ourselves first before we look to others to do that for us. It is very important that we get into the habit of monitoring, measuring and documenting all that we do.

Read the full report here.

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