Ghana is seeing a lot of development recently within different sectors, and the music industry is one of them. 2021 saw the launch of Spotify in Ghana, the world’s most popular global audio streaming subscription service.
The West African country has also witnessed a rise within the tech scene, with multinational companies such as Twitter setting up its African headquarters in Ghana, the 2019 launch of Google’s AI lab in Accra or even the growing number of coworking spaces in Accra, but the impact of Spotify in Ghanaian society has been tremendous.
Let’s take a look at how Spotify is shaping the Ghanaian music industry.
Spotify in Ghana
Who doesn’t know of or use Spotify nowadays? Maybe that was the case for many Ghanaians not so long ago. Ghanaian musicians particularly, who faced a very challenging sector due to the limited number of options available for them to make it professionally. In fact, the only real option was to play as many live events as possible in hope of making it one day.
While some managed to make it using this method, many talented artists simply weren’t able to. This didn’t help along with the fact that radio stations would only play the most popular songs over and over, making it even more difficult for emerging artists to break through.
Fortunately, a lot of this started to change with the introduction of digital technologies and social media platforms, allowing these emerging artists to create their own platforms where they could promote their music. And then of course it came, Spotify!
Spotify and their launch in Ghana in 2021
On February 23rd 2021, Spotify launched its streaming subscription services in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
Since then, they have uniquely tailored their music experience for Africa, expertly curated and updated regularly with more than 100 playlists across some of the most popular genres in the continent. As part of their global emerging program, they came up with RADAR Africa, a playlist uncovering the most exciting artists on the rise from the African continent and diaspora.
Thanks to this, emerging Ghanain artists – Moliy, Kofee Bean, Amaarae, Gyakie and Black Sherif, amongst others, have been featured on-platform and given the chance of exposure to markets outside the country.
Currently Spotify Ghana has more than 7 million combined monthly listeners, so what a great exposure to all these upcoming artists!
Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu, said the following: “Spotify is committed to developing Ghana’s creator economy and this move presents a wonderful off-platform opportunity for us to be innovative in the way we show up for creators and their fans. For Spotify, Ghana is a cultural landmark that remains crucial to the story of modern-day African music and creativity.”
What benefits has the launch brought?
It is coming up to almost two years now since their launch and as of today, Spotify’s presence in Ghana represents the largest platform for Ghanaian music and content creators to expose their sounds to the world.
Since its launch, there has been a 22.28% increase in new local songs added to the Spotify platform by creators in Ghana. Not only that, but Ghana now ranks among the Top Ten new markets with the most user-generated playlists.
The launch of Spotify has also helped export local Ghanaian music genres -like the ever present highlife music genre- worldwide. Over 46% of Asakaa music is streamed in the UK, US, and Germany. While Afropop from Ghana is experiencing massive growth in the US, where the genre has found 21% of its audience. Ghanaian Afropop has also enjoyed a 160% growth in the United States since Spotify became accessible in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian Gospel has registered a 70% growth in the same time frame with over half of the streams coming from outside of Ghana. And then of course let’s not forget about Spotify’s most recent move! Their cash donation to Surf Ghana.
Spotify’s cash donation to Surf Ghana
Spotify has made a cash donation towards Surf Ghana in support of the nation’s growing community of creators. The donation is a 2-year long partnership that will support Surf Ghana in building a community recording studio and providing value added-services such as mentorship, music production, development, and business education programs geared towards creators.
In tandem with the organization’s surfer and skater communities, the partnership also supports a broader set of creative sectors, including and Ghanaian music producers and artists, who organically collaborate.
The partnership is called “Vibrate Studio”, and as we already mentioned, it hopes to empower the next generation of creatives in Ghana. Sandy Alibo, Founder of Surf Ghana, mentioned the following: “Spotify partnering with us will go a long way towards helping us fulfill our vision of being an exponentially impactful center for upskilling and mentoring Ghanaian youth. While driving their social inclusion, education and empowerment”.
“Spotify is committed to developing Ghana’s creator economy and this move presents a wonderful off-platform opportunity for us to be innovative in the way we show up for creators and their fans. For Spotify, Ghana is a cultural landmark that remains crucial to the story of modern-day African music and creativity,” says Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu.
Vibrate studio has officially opened since Friday October 14, 2022.