The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption across the world, but at the same time, it has also created opportunities in some spheres as well.
We are witnessing a creative boom across the world, with people coming up with ways to keep themselves and others entertained while stuck indoors.
This glut in creativity is happening across mediums and sources, whether it be huge behemoths like Netflix who are churning out new shows, or people at home coming up with videos to put on sites like TikTok.
Musicians have been hurt quite a lot by the ongoing pandemic, as there is no scope for any sort of live performance or concert at the moment, and those events make up the bulk of earnings for most musicians.
Contrary to popular belief, streaming music only pays a small amount to the musicians, so unless you are an Ed Sheeran or a Rihanna with billions of streams, you are not going to earn substantially from those services.
Nevertheless, there has been a boom in the use of live streaming services by musicians across genres to connect with their fans and provide them with new music at this time.
At the same time, we have seen that African music, especially, is thriving, and the entertainment scene in Africa is actually ripe for investment at the moment.
As an example of just how important popular culture is in Africa, the Nigerian film industry, or Nollywood, accounted for 1.4% of the country’s GDP in 2016. South Africa’s music industry will hit almost $180 million this year, and yet only 1.1% of the total investment in start-ups in Africa went to entertainment companies in 2019.
This is the right time to put money into these industries, with the sudden rise in digital solutions allowing them to be able to thrive even in the face of a global pandemic.
This is the case for all entertainment solutions at present, with gaming, streaming and, above all, online casino with the ability to play live games and feel like in real casinos, seeing a huge amount of growth ever since lockdowns were imposed in places across the globe.
The creative sectors in Africa have always suffered due to lack of access to capital through the formal economy, but times are changing, with the African Export-Import Bank announcing a $500 million credit facility in January this year for African creative and cultural projects, while the Nigerian Central Bank had created a N22 billion fund last year for entrepreneurs in the IT and creative sectors.
With decreasing internet costs, such online forms of media are becoming more and more accessible across Africa, and the spike in demand for online content has led to platforms announcing plans for expansion.
For example, the music streaming service Joox, owned by Tencent, has proved to be a hit in South Africa, and so the company is looking to move into other countries on the continent soon.
Netflix has also made a push into Africa, releasing its first two original African TV shows, ‘Queen Sono’ and ‘Blood and Water’, on the platform this year. The three largest music labels in the world – Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group have all signed African artists and bought African labels in the last few years, showing how the scene is maturing in the country.
Music streaming has become extremely popular, with revenue set to increase at 20%, 30% and 40% CAGR in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria respectively between 2019 and 2023. Apple Music is also expanding on the continent, with the service available in 39 African countries now.
All of this shows just how the cultural scene in Africa is booming at the moment, and investors would be wise to put their money in right now to take advantage of future growth.