The Streaming Music Giants of Africa

by | Aug 31, 2023 | Burna Boy, Business, CSA Celebrates, Culture, Entertainment, Music, Music From Africa, Spotify, The Wire, Trends

  • CKAY’s 1 billion solo streams on Spotify
  • Burna Boy’s latest release gets 9.395 million streams in 24 hours
  • African Artists’ new found Bankability
  • What do stream numbers actually mean?

Africa isn’t just taking to digital streaming as a lifestyle choice; it’s blowing tracking numbers sky high. In one week, two record breaking events have disrupted the world of digital streaming on the continent. CKAY blasted through 1 billion solo streams on Spotify, a bold achievement in his ascent to stardom. A few days later “The African Giant”, Burna Boy, dropped his new album, “I Told Them”, with 9.395 million streams on Spotify, setting a new record for an African artist’s new album debut on the platform.

It is a bold declaration of bankability by these African artists. And a sure study of how to develop a career and amplify it.

CKay’s journey to the top.

Chukwuka Ekweani, aka CKay, emerged into a densely populated Afrobeats music scene, already spreading its wings internationally, and was enthusiastically embraced by the African Diaspora and adopted as a new favourite by Western stars. The multi-talented artist has maintained an unwavering artistic vision, expressed as author, composer, producer, and performer. His legion of fans were instantly seduced and further catapulted him into pop stratosphere with solid releases with EPs “The First” (2019), “Boyfriend” (2021), and his debut long-playing album, “Sad Romance” (2022). Clearly, you are on to something when your debut LP scores 380 million streams worldwide.

Awards, accolades and record-breaking numbers.

Awards of course have deservedly come, including multiple Platinum status in the US for his massive hit “Love Nwantiti”. If there was any doubt that CK was a global superstar, his track “Emiliana” also earned global chart positions and received over 400 million streams worldwide, going straight to #1 on the U.K. Afrobeats Chart and #2 on the Shazam Top 200 (Afrobeats) as well as locking down the #1 position in six countries on Apple Music.

“The African Giant” and a new brand of Superstar.

Burna Boy’s career has completely reinvented the notion of how a superstar from Africa’s development is supposed to look like. Not only has he sold out stadiums on a global scale but also became the first African artist to fill a U.S. stadium with over 40,000 adoring fans in New York: an historical moment in the music industry. His headline performance at London Stadium also turned out to be a one the most important African culture shifting moments in contemporary times.

“If you’re asking by now what do streaming numbers actually, mean, well here is a basic answer.”

Global streaming dominance.

Burna Boy’s global music dominance was most felt with him taken over the record previously held by fellow African, Davido’s “Timeless”, on the Apple Music United States chart. His release of “I Told Them” smashed that record within 24 hours.

If you’re asking by now what do streaming numbers actually, mean well here is a basic answer. Streaming numbers are a commonly used metric for measuring an artist’s total reach and engagement. This is usually done by looking at the number of streams of the artist’s most listened to song. Streaming in Africa has been technologically impactful, proving the continent has an aptitude and hunger for music content. Streaming has also been culturally absorbed into the lifestyles of Africans. Most importantly it has given African artists the global recognition they didn’t have with the old medium of music dissemination. In fact, African artists have created a global fanbase and doubled their revenues since streaming services became available. With artists like CKAY and Burna Boy achieving these records, the potential for more African artists breaking through is an exciting possibility and indicative of Africa’s music growth globally.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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