Africa is now at the epicenter of the global economy. Her music, movies, and culture have captured the world’s attention, and technology has emerged as the leading evangelist.
An estimated 60% of the world’s population is now online according to Statista. The internet controls a large portion of the global market, making it the most convenient way to connect with the rest of the world.
For decades, traditional media dominated music marketing. Radio, billboards, television, magazines, and newspapers were all popular ways to effectively market an artist’s songs and/or their entire brand.
Until recently, these marketing strategies were flawless. They were the keys to many artists’ and record labels’ success. However, the influence of traditional media has waned in the modern era. Music fans are increasingly turning to social media to discover new artists or songs. Social media is where cultural discussions, fanaticism, and conversations that add ambiance to music take place.
Afrobeats songs that gained global recognition through social-video platforms
In 2021, Internet World Stats reported that 11.5% of the world’s digital population are Africans. This is relatively low compared to the Western world probably because of the economic situation in Africa.
Regardless, Africans have been able to break into the world’s digital space with their songs. Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ featuring Tems charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2021. The ‘Essence’ gospel spread through social media. The melody struck a chord with Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. It drew the universe to it along the way. Although Sony and RCA were able to strategically use influencers and collaborate with Justin Bieber to expand the song’s reach, it was already accepted by a large number of people online.
CKay, signed to Warner Music, was the next African artist to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2021. On TikTok, his song ‘Love Nwantit’ began its trip to the global market. On the social video-sharing platform, it had 15 billion views resulting in its worldwide domination. CKay’s ‘Love Nwantiti’ was Shazam’s No. 1 tune for September 2021, earning him over 30 million monthly Spotify listeners sometime in October 2021, the most of any African artist.
Fireboy DML’s ‘Peru’ is another recent global African song aided by video-sharing platforms. In February 2022, the song debuted at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Fireboy DML’s first chart appearance of his career.
Songs such as ‘Sip (Alcohol)’ by Joeboy, ‘Ameno Amapiano’ by Nektunez & Goya Menor, ‘Touch It’ by KiDi, ‘Sad Girlz Luv Money remix’ by Amaarae featuring Kali Uchis and Moliy, ‘Finesse’ by Pheelz & BNXN, and others have gained global exposure thanks to TikTok, Triller, Reels, Snapchat, and others.
On the Billboard Top Triller Global chart, African sounds have been dominating as well. Rema’s ‘Calm Down’, Skiibii’s ‘Baddest Boy’, and others have recently peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard Top Triller Global chart. On the chart updated on 17th December 2021, five Nigerian songs were charted in the top 10 songs on the global chart.
These are only possible because of the growing worldwide internet population. According to Statista 2021, 59.5 percent of the global population is online. The majority of that number are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, and Triller.
The synergy between these apps
Statista claims social media users spend a daily average of 145 minutes per day online. That is enough to consume at least 100 videos and approximately two albums if these videos all had different music in them.
One important finding will be that these platforms, whether deliberately or unknowingly, support the same song at once. They all complement each other in preaching the gospel, which helps the song expand after receiving a lot of user-generated content (UGC) and editorial support. A song gaining traction on video-sharing platforms is likely to receive support from media outlets and content creators. This is when you get to see the radio and TV stations constantly spinning these records. It’s also at this point that you will witness written reviews and other content around a song probably released months back.
Presently, A&R and marketing teams have identified social video sharing platforms as an avenue to break new artists and songs. The A&R team ensures that songs are Tiktok-friendly to generate more user-generated material, or they work with music producers or DJs to edit previously released tracks to make them sound better for video-sharing sites.
Comparing these platforms
Earthweb data from April 2016 show that 42 percent of Instagram users are men, while 58 percent are women. Furthermore, according to some research, 32 percent of women use Instagram, while only 23 percent of men do as of January 2017.
Furthermore, according to the most recent statistics, approximately 50.8 percent of all Instagram users are female; however, 49.2 percent are male.
Finesse, for example, has over 800,000 videos and 121, 000 reels on TikTok. Sip (Alcohol) has approximately 59,000 reels and 647,000 videos, confirming that TikTok is more likely to generate more content from users than Reels, despite the latter’s apparent greater potential for making a video go viral.
To compare any social media platform, it is critical to know how many times it has been downloaded. This is due to the fact that it provides information about the popularity and engagement found on a specific social media platform.
Although downloads do not guarantee active users, they do aid in the implementation of effective social media marketing strategies.
Instagram has been downloaded approximately 3.8 billion times as of now, making it a massive social media platform with a massive reach.
The amount of time users spend on social media platforms is important because the more time they spend on the platform, the more ads they’ll see and the more chances they’ll have to discover your brand.
Instagram users spend an average of 29 minutes per day on the platform as of 2020.
TikTok, on the other hand, has a different number. According to available data, an average user spends 52 minutes per day on the platform as of 2020.
TikTok wins the race in terms of average time spent on the two platforms. People spend more time on TikTok than they do on Instagram.
As of 2021, the most common age group of Instagram users is still 25 to 34 years old, accounting for 32.8 percent of the Instagram audience.
While older generations find TikTok to be a bit of a brain teaser, younger generations enjoy using the platform.
According to 2020 statistics, 62 percent of the total TikTok audience is between the ages of 10 and 29. However, only 7.1 percent of them are over the age of 50.
The preceding discussion clearly demonstrates that, while it appears that Gen Z enjoys Instagram, it is not their favorite app. Instagram is ranked third, while TikTok is ranked second, right after Snapchat.
How success from social-video apps attracts major labels
Major labels have absorbed several musicians with TikTok hits in the last six months. I assume this is merely to increase the return on investment. These labels make an effort to re-market a song that has already gained traction to reach even more people to break into new markets. This is an excellent strategy, but it is a challenging business model to sustain. The most difficult task will be to keep the buzz going for the artist’s future releases.
Following the success of their songs ‘Ameno Amapiano’ and ‘Sad Girlz Luv Money remix’ on these apps, artists such as Goya Menor and Amaarae signed with Sony Music and Universal Music, respectively.
Artists such as CKay were only able to make ‘Love Nwantiti’ a global hit after signing a deal with Warner Music.
This confirms the tendency for artists to be discovered easily after a successful campaign on these apps, as well as the fact that these major labels use these apps for artist discovery and song marketing.
How effective is music marketing on video-sharing apps
The success of any campaign is heavily dependent on the strategy used and the resources available. These resources go beyond money to include relationships with influencers and curators on these platforms. The concept of marketing in these apps begins with the material. The song must be UGC friendly to generate more content for these platforms, which usually guarantees editorial support from these apps. So far, marketing on video-sharing apps has always begun with TikTok, most likely because it is the leading video-sharing app with a user experience that ensures more UGC content. When a song becomes popular on TikTok, you’ll notice it on reels, YT shorts, Triller, Snapchat, and other platforms. Simply put, this is how these campaigns work.
Thousands of dollars have been invested to successfully launch a campaign that could push a song from the streets of Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, or any other African city to the global market. Influencers must have cost close to or even more than a million dollars for a song like ‘Essence‘ and ‘Love Nwantiti’ to become a global hit.
Given that some songs are easily picked up by influencers and creators on these apps, a successful campaign to push a song to the global music space should cost at least $20,000 to be fair.
‘Finesse’, ‘Peru,’ and ‘Sip (Alcohol)’ all started on TikTok but received the most attention on Reels, which is understandable. According to Semrush, Instagram is the fifth most popular social media platform, while TikTok is the seventh. With Reels now available on Facebook as well, that’s a potential 4 billion monthly users for reels.
These songs’ success on video-sharing platforms ensures that they will appear on the most followed playlists across all streaming platforms – after all, these curators spend the majority of their time on social media, so it is only natural that their playlists will reflect what is trending on social media.
The impact of these video-sharing platforms has resulted in an afrobeats chart on Billboard for the US market, an afrobeats chart for the UK market, and an afrobeats album receiving back-to-back Grammy nominations for the best global music album.
In a nutshell, video-sharing platforms are massively promoting Afrobeats on the global music scene, breaking musicians, and granting them major label deals on the cheap. This assistance is easily obtained through collaboration with these platforms and/or collaboration with influencers to launch marketing campaigns.
*Pulse Editor’s Opinion is the viewpoint of an Editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the Organisation Pulse.