• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Music: how can it be monetised in and outside of Africa? UN SDG#10


The economics of someone’s passion is quite intangible and rather difficult to measure. Economics and markets like to measure and quantify nominally. This allows them to predict and forecast potential revenues, investments and volumes.

Today’s GrowthView explores our passions and interests that cut across societies. Music connects us emotionally. How can we achieve the UN SDG #10 on reducing inequalities within and among countries, with art &music?


How has technology evolved to capture our love for music? Has Spotify’s business model tapped into the African market? Can we simply measure our interests?


The aim is poverty reduction. GrowthView turns to what we value, as people.


Someone’s passion for instruments, singing or football is an emotional connection and this is harder to set on a barometer.


What we value can be measured – emotional impact is sustainable

These are hot and cold feelings – this is why in technology we also see heat maps for IT system architectures, to clearly and simply visualize the cost of a software and the buy-in from users internally. For example, in a large corporate bank that has a multitude of software and systems in place (CRM, trading platforms, data transmitters or simply risk calculation engines). These systems are visualised sometimes with heat maps – red to green.


Same as when children play the hot and cold game or hide and seek and the child says “you are getting hotter” or “no, you are cold”, as he/she wanders looking for her/his friend with eyes closed.


These simple barometers of hot and cold are understood universally.


Markets and investors are constantly looking for scales and for spectrums of growth. What does this really mean? Growth potential is infinite. Company valuations are based on infinite unknowns, we speculate this is how our society has learned to operate. By speculating, on an infinite range from negative (-) growth to exponential positive (+) multiplying effects.


Is this a logical way to look at the world?

We enjoy simplicity. We like what we can understand. We are enabled when we can share our views and our desires, to others in a way we all comprehend.


‘What if’- Is this the right communication?

A simple rule is to always go with your first choice. It isn’t about exclaiming your first idea, but it is about following your initial instinct. Thereafter qualifying and embellishing the idea.


When we overthink, we reflect inwards on: how do I sound? Will my investor see the big picture I am trying to explain? How will my family relate to what I’m saying? What if I can’t explain it? And this is a never-ending cycle of “Ifs”.


Confidence reflects our knowledge. Of course, there are those that are self-confident, however they will stumble on their argumentation. Therefore, remember, kids do not think of scenarios with, what if? They go for it and they adapt it if the circumstances change.


The same confidence can be applied to business. We are never 100% certain of our environment; therefore, stick to what you know and be confident by relying on what you are interested and passionate about.


“This may be simplified, but the message is the same. How can adults in Africa or globally be confident and adapt, based on their passion for music, art or sports?”


These are so many infinites, of what “if”. There is a great quote that comes from a French saying, it translates “with IFs, we can change the world”.


The case of Spotify: The company & people have brilliantly tapped into our emotions, globally, and have the potential to help make this world more prosperous. Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG#9 on innovation and the SDG#10.


Can our value system or Spotify help poverty and reduce inequalities in Africa?


Interests are a good place to start. Skills is the next stage that is matched to your interest. Finally, the most important is learning to trust yourself and not overthink with “IFs” – communicate it as a child would.

Spotify removes the starratings and uses algorithms of how many times a song is played through a “popularity bar”.The rating system was a conversion from iTunes and as the world is looking for simplicity, they adapted their model to “like” or “not like”.


We can perhaps rank our “liking” from 1 to 5. This is where technology has learned to adapt their smart apps and phones and simplify it with hot or cold, yes or no measurements.


For traditional investors and entrepreneurs,the number of “likes” helps them group people, from Africa to Asia. A catchy song, can help connect people from different background and countries. This interest and passion create a new sector and interesting opportunities in developing countries.


The progressive method, and what Spotify does is that they measure the popularity of the artist based on the volume of times the song was heard,a much more accurate depiction of our emotional connection to the music.

Cutting across our usual barriers of customer segmentation, or pre-disposed thinking on number scales is where market opportunities are going.


Interests and passions are sustainable – overtime. Measuring these interests are not too ambitious.


‘Hot’ and ‘cold’maps or ‘like’and ‘don’t like’measurements make it transparent and understandable to various cultures as well as nationalities.


Our human tendency is to debate and argue – this is because we enjoy differentiating ourselves and our tastes. Our points of views are unique. This is true. Let’s shift this thinking.Is this constant scale measurement blocking growth? Or can we make life simpler by focusing on what we enjoy? What do we emotionally connect with?


Prosperity starts with understanding what we enjoy. What we want and need to sustain our family and grow our business. Thereafter we connect with trusted people and partners,as described in the last GrowthView “People Partnership”.


What if our interests and passions could be monetised, just the waya talented football player makes money?


Let music and our interest for African beats grow into more than making us happy.


In sum, the key take-aways for today are


  1. Our passions can be measured
  2. What interests can make money
  3. Technology is the enabler
  4. Connect emotionally
  5. Be sustainable SDG#9 and SDG#10




Wehbe is passionate about helping others and fighting poverty & injustice. She is the founder of GrowthView. She writes from Zurich, Switzerland.  [email protected]

Cell: +41 79 950 4760