South African artists and music are becoming more popular around the world creating big opportunities for creators. Amapiano, the homegrown South African genre, has seen tremendous growth, with over 1.9 billion streams in 2022 alone. The genre has grown beyond its home borders, with streams outside of Sub Saharan Africa growing by more than 563% on Spotify in the last two years. The UK, USA, Netherlands, Germany and Canada are a few of the countries outside Sub Saharan Africa, listening to Amapiano. This is the power of music streaming. 

There is a certain level of democratization that has occurred in the music industry, thanks to music streaming that enables this kind of growth. Spotify‘s commitment is to ensure that African creators earn from their art, by exposing them to over 550 million active users on the platform, resulting in new audiences and more streams for the artists. 

Artists deserve clarity about the economics of music streaming. Spotify launched its now annual report, Loud & Clear, to increase transparency in the music industry by sharing data on Spotify‘s royalty payments and breaking down the global streaming economy, the players and the process. 

In 2022, revenues generated by South African artists from Spotify alone reached nearly 200M ZAR – 3x the amount 4 years ago.

The number of South African artists who generated more than 50k and 500k ZAR in royalties from Spotify alone increased by over 30% in the last year. This figure represents revenue generated from Spotify alone, and does not take into account earnings from other services and recorded revenue streams, concert tickets or merch. 

A quarter of all South African artists who generated more than 100k ZAR self-distribute their music on Spotify, using distributors like DistroKid, TuneCore, CD Baby, and others. 

“Our continued commitment at Spotify is to ensure that professional artists can make a living from their art. By releasing the revenues that South African artists generated on our platform in 2022, we are not only keeping ourselves accountable, but also showing artists that it does pay to put your art out into the world,”.

says Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s Managing Director for Sub Saharan Africa

Spotify generates music revenue from two sources: subscription fees from Premium listeners and fees from advertisers on music on the Free tier.

Nearly 70% of that revenue is paid back as royalties to rights holders, who then pay the artists and songwriters, based on the agreed terms. These rights holders include record labels, publishers, independent distributors, performance rights organizations and collecting societies.