Spotify has recently announced the launch of ‘Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams’, a dedicated site that will track all things related to the genre. From its origins and popularisation in Nigeria and Ghana, its fusion with other genres as well as how it has become one of the continent’s biggest cultural exports.
Afrobeats is one of Africa’s biggest musical exports and is currently taking the world by storm. Spotify reports that the genre has grown by 550 percent since 2017, and it was streamed more than 13 billion times in 2022, with its leading artists continuing to tick off giant milestones on the global music stage, across live events, awards and streaming.
According to the streaming platform, the site will act as a repository for this cultural phenomenon housing text, infographics and visual elements, including Spotify streaming data and results from the Spotify-commissioned April 2023 Afrobeats survey. The survey, conducted by research firm Kuvora, tracks the rise of Afrobeats and its cultural impact over decades.
The site will be updated on a biweekly basis for the next 8 weeks but will remain active beyond this as an always-on resource, with frequent updates on new Afrobeats moments. It will also include an interactive experience for fans to discover and connect with new knowledge on Afrobeats.
Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa said,“There is no doubt that Afrobeats as a genre is here to stay, and will only continue to shatter more ceilings. In 2023 alone, the genre has been played for more than 223 million hours with streams exceeding 7.1 billion on Spotify. We created this site for both new and longtime fans of the genre, who would like to have a better understanding of how and where this explosive sound came to be.”
Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams will have five key pillars; Origins, which explores the genres that acted as precursors of Afrobeats, including Afrobeat, Highlife and Juju among others. The second pillar will be ‘Evolution’, in which industry players contributed to the current Afrobeats sound that the whole world cannot seem to get enough of.
The fusion of Afrobeats with genres such as Reggaeton, Amapiano and others and their impact on Afrobeats’ success story will be the third pillar. Cultural exportation, especially to countries outside Africa and Afrobeats’ role in this through music, food, language and fashion lenses will be the fourth pillar.
The fifth pillar will focus on the Women of Afrobeats, shedding light on some of the key female figures whose contributions to the industry propelled the genre to its current status as a global sensation.
The site will also include key Afrobeats timelines over the years, interesting Spotify data, and excerpts from interviews with industry experts and man-on-the-street videos from key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.