With the rise of digital music distribution, African artists, particularly those from the continent’s emerging markets, have been able to reach a much wider, global audience. This in turn has made African music a lot more profitable and African musicians a great deal more bankable.
“This is an amazing time for African music. Because of the Internet, Africans are exposed to the rest of the world without travelling. Afrobeat is now urbanised – the Internet has made everything well-packaged,” Mr Eazi, a Nigerian Afrobeats artist told CNN.
“Now you see A-listers all around the world, like Drake and Nas, sampling African music; I’ve even heard Japanese music with African drums. It’s invading pop culture and it’s a marvellous time for African music.”
Recently, 10 of Africa’s most bankable artists were listed by Forbes Africa. The criteria took several factors into account, such as popularity, sales, awards, YouTube views, show rates and social media numbers.
It’s not surprising that the list is dominated by Nigerian artists as the country is said to have the fastest growing entertainment and media industry on the continent.
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This is according to PriceWaterHouseCoopers’ 2016-2020 Entertainment and Media Outlook report published late last year.
“Although South Africa’s market is characterised by a tendency to be overly weighted to interned access, with that segment’s share approaching 40% by 2020, this is nothing compared to the stranglehold the internet has over Nigeria’s entertainment and media industry revenue,” the report states.
In essence, according to the report, Nigeria has the highest dependance on the Internet for revenue.
Here’s the complete list of Africa’s 10 most bankable artists according to Forbes Africa:
10. Oliver Mtukudzi, Zimbabwe
9. Sarkodie, Ghana
8. Davido, Nigeria
7. Wizkid, Nigeria
6. Jidenna, Nigerian-American
5. Tinashe, Zimbabwean-American
4. Don Jazzy, Nigeria
3. Hugh Masekela, South Africa
2. Black Coffee, South Africa
1. Akon, Senegalese-American
*The net worth of the artists was not included in the list.
Additional source: CNN, Forbes Africa