By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A first-of-its-kind podcast initiative in Africa aimed to support podcasters and further amplify their stories has been introduced by a top global streaming platform, Spotify.
The company is providing $100,000 for the scheme tagged Africa Podcast Fund, which will bolster the careers of these podcast creators through financial grants, workshops and networking opportunities.
It is offered to 13 creators from African countries with the biggest podcast listenerships, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
The grant also includes a Cameroonian podcast with large listenerships both in France and in Francophone African countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire. Given the wide range of selected countries, the winning podcasts are recorded in a range of languages, including Pidgin, English, French, Sheng, Ga, and Twi.
The fund will be administered by Africa Podfest, a Kenyan-based company focused on inspiring and elevating African podcasters by building a sustainable and inclusive podcasting industry across Africa.
“Africa Podfest is excited about the development of podcasting in Africa, particularly because the medium allows underrepresented African voices to tell the story of Africa,” says Melissa Mbugua, Co-Director, Africa Podfest.
In Nigeria, the firm has picked the host of I Said What I Said, Feyikemi Abudu, an entrepreneur who is excited about helping small businesses to grow, and Jola Ayeye, a storyteller with a core interest in contemporary African culture.
Another podcaster chosen was Taymesan, who covers societal issues and personal experiences in a fun, light-hearted and entertaining way through Tea With Tay; and F&S Uncensored hosted by Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru.
In Cameroon, a journalist and art collector, Diane Audrey Ngako, who hosts Si Maman M’avait Dit, which roughly translates to If my mom had told me, was picked for the initiative, and from Kenya, the Sandwich Podcast hosted by Joan, Kibz, Nyamita and Owen was picked.
Spotify also selected from the East African nation the hosts of the Messy Inbetween, Murugi Munyi and Lydia Mukami, for the scheme. Others include Mantalk.ke hosted by Kenyan creators Eli Mwenda and Oscar Koome; and Nipe Story hosted by Kevin Mwachiro.
Gospel Singer Sammie Okposo Slumps, Dies
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Reports just filtering in indicate that a popular gospel artist in Nigeria, Sammie Okposo, has passed on.
Details of this unfortunate incident are still sketchy, but it was gathered that he passed away on Friday at the age of 51 after he slumped.
Recall that some months ago, Sammie Okposo was in the news over issues concerning his marriage.
The Wellu Wellu crooner later apologised to his fans and others for betraying their trust, promising to be a better person.
Three years ago, the Delta State-born music star had a close encounter with death after the propeller shaft of his car pulled off while on motion.
More than a Music Streaming Service – Why You Should Allocate Media Spend To Spotify
By Carla Harrison
If I were to pick up your phone right now, there’s a very good chance that I’d find Spotify among your apps. It is, after all, the world’s most popular music streaming service, with 433 million users (188 million of whom are paid subscribers) in 183 countries. Since its launch in 2008, it’s transformed the way the world listens to music and helps launch the careers of artists around the world.
And if you use Spotify, you’re probably also aware that it’s expanded from just music streaming into podcasting, with some 4 million podcast titles joining its library of 82 million songs. But did you know that it’s also a powerful advertising platform with a growing focus on the African continent?
Any brand that’s serious about expansion, particularly in high-growth markets such as Nigeria, simply cannot afford to ignore it.
The pros of radio, plus more
In order to understand what makes Spotify such an appealing platform for advertisers, it’s worth first reminding ourselves of the strengths offered by traditional radio. In general, for example, radio ads are more cost-effective than other forms. You can also get away with increased frequency, meaning that your message is more likely to stick.
Spotify offers all the benefits of radio advertising plus more. With growing numbers of people listening to digital audio streaming every day, you’re guaranteed an active and engaged audience. At the same time, you’re also reaching them while they listen to what they love. And because Spotify’s targeting options are so advanced, your brand can reach specific people based on age, gender, music genre, and playlist. Unlike radio, Spotify guarantees 100% completed listens in its reporting. It can also provide metrics around which type of audience engaged with your ad and a companion banner which allows users to click through to a webpage.
The streaming service is an innovator in the advertising space too. Its 3D audio feature, for instance, allows brands to provide premium quality advertising through an immersive, dynamic, and sensory audio experience. As a result, listeners don’t just hear an ad; they feel it.
But Spotify offers more than just audio ads. It also allows brands to reinforce their messages with high-impact display and video ad formats. Spotify video ads are actually the best performing in the industry, as they had to be built for viewability. The ads are 100% viewable and 100% audible, and Spotify only charges for 100% completion.
Making an impact in Africa
It’s also worth pointing out that Spotify is seeing significant levels of growth across Africa. While the streaming service has been available in South Africa since 2018, its real expansion into Africa only came in early 2021, when it launched in an additional 40 countries.
But just a year after launching in Nigeria, the number of artists streamed per user had grown by 60%, and Nigerian music fans had created 1.3 million user-generated playlists. Additionally, nearly 21 000 songs had been added to the platform, placing Nigeria as the country with the second most streams after Pakistan in the new markets, with Kenya third in the ranking.
That growth isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon, either. According to Statista, music streaming revenues in Nigeria are expected to show an annual growth rate of 12.61% between 2022 and 2027. It’s also worth noting that penetration in the overall streaming market currently sits at just 4.1%. With an additional 35 million Nigerians set to come online by 2026 (all of whom will be hungry for the consumer experiences that come with affordable and ubiquitous access), Spotify looks primed for significant growth.
That comes with obvious growth benefits for advertisers, especially when you factor in that 39.6% of music streaming users are in the medium-income group. As Nigeria’s economy continues to grow, that income group will become larger and more valuable.
Partnering with the experts
Brands looking to utilise Spotify as a marketing platform don’t have to go in blind, either. By working with experts that have specialist teams, they can get the most out of their campaigns. The right partners will also offer advertisers price transparency, ensuring that they get advertising on the platform at the most affordable rates.
In doing so, they can ensure that they always reach the right audiences at the right time with the right message. Moreover, with Spotify, they’re reaching people during the moments they love. And that’s always incredibly valuable for any marketer. Small wonder then, that Spotify is seen as the most trusted ad platform among consumers. Factor in the brand safety it offers, and you have a winning combination.
A culmination of factors
Ultimately then, Spotify represents the culmination of a number of factors that should be of interest to anyone with a media budget that needs to be spent. And as Africa, and Nigeria in particular, that combination of engaged, active audiences, the ability to target specific audiences, and innovative advertising products will only become more important.
Carla Harrison is the East African Sales Manager at Ad Dynamo by Aleph
15 Nigerian YouTubers, Others to Receive Seed Funding
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Seed funding between $20,000 and $50,000 would be given to 15 Nigerian YouTubers and others from Africa to support their acts.
Apart from this, they will also receive dedicated partner support for six months and have the opportunity to participate in programmes, including bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes spread out across the year.
The funding package is from YouTube for the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices creators and artist cohorts, which comprises African fast-rising musical artists, Gyakie from Ghana, Kamo Mphela from South Africa, Asake from Nigeria, and BNXN from Nigeria.
The cohort will also include Hip Hop producer MashBeatz from South Africa and Nairobi-based producer Ukweli, who will be joining 17 #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriters and Producers globally.
Now in its third year, the initiative from YouTube is a follow-up to a global, multi-year commitment made in 2020 to uplift and grow Black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
The artists, songwriters, and producers joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2023 will be required to set goals, develop a content strategy, and engage with their fans on YouTube, with the assistance of a YouTube partner manager.
There will be networking opportunities with other artists, songwriters, and producers included in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and a chance to maximise the impact of their channels as they provide catalogue-development opportunities.
“We are excited about the creators, musical artists and producers from Africa joining others from across the world in the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
“The initiative is dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to succeed on our platform,” the Managing Director for Emerging Markets at YouTube EMEA, Mr Alex Okosi, stated.
“We are seriously interested in the growth of the creative community in Africa. For the creators, artists, songwriters and producers that will be joining this third cohort, we will go beyond the initial training to measure our success with them over a long-term period, thereby ensuring that they achieve sustained success,” he added.
Over the next few years, YouTube will be directly investing in more than 500 creators, and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
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