Spotify recently launched a dedicated website called “Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams,” which aims to showcase the growth and impact of Afrobeats music since 2017.
This move by Spotify reflects the platform’s recognition of the immense popularity of the Afrobeats genre among its users. Since 2017, Afrobeats has experienced a remarkable 550% increase in streams, with over 13 billion streams recorded in 2022.
The website’s weekly series will delve into the journey of Afrobeats, tracing its origins and exploring how it has evolved into the cultural phenomenon it is today.
Spotify indicates that the series will cover the story of Afrobeats’ development, including its fusion with other genres and its influence on various cultural aspects such as food, fashion, and language, all of which have been facilitated by the globalization of Afrobeats.
The genre’s growth from 2 billion annual streams on Spotify in 2017 to 13.5 billion in 2022 has been largely fueled by its popularity beyond Africa.
According to Joselyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, the enduring presence and growth of Afrobeats can be attributed to its ability to push boundaries and defy limitations.
This claim is supported by the impressive streaming numbers of Afrobeats in 2023 alone, with 7.1 billion streams and over 223 million hours of playtime on Spotify.
The primary mission of the website is to provide a comprehensive understanding of Afrobeats’ roots and its incredible journey thus far.
Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, stated that the site was created for both new and longtime fans of the genre who seek a deeper understanding of how this explosive sound emerged and evolved.
“Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams” will focus on five key pillars. The first pillar, Origins, will explore the genres that paved the way for Afrobeats, including Afrobeat, Highlife, and Juju.
The second pillar, Evolution, will shed light on the industry figures who contributed to shaping the current Afrobeats sound that has captivated the world. The third pillar will examine the fusion of Afrobeats with other genres such as Reggaeton and Amapiano, and how this success story has impacted Afrobeats.
The fourth pillar will highlight cultural exporting, particularly to nations outside of Africa, and showcase the contributions of Afrobeats to music, food, language, and fashion.
Lastly, the fifth pillar will celebrate the Women of Afrobeats, recognizing the significant female figures whose contributions have propelled the genre to its current status as a global phenomenon.
In summary, Spotify’s dedicated website for Afrobeats, “Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams,” serves as a platform to celebrate and showcase the growth, impact, and cultural significance of Afrobeat music.
Through its various pillars, the website aims to provide an in-depth exploration of the genre’s origins, evolution, fusion with other genres, cultural exportation, and the contributions of women to its success.
Words By: Daniel Nzohabonimana