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Apple Music Says Streams of DJ Mixes in Africa Grew 500% Over the Past Year

The service cites the explosion of African electronic genres including afrobeats, amapiano and Gqom as a major driver behind the increase.

DJ mixes from Africa have tracked massive numbers on Apple Music over the past year, with the company citing a 500% streaming bump in African DJ mixes from August 2021 through August 2022.

The biggest bump on the continent was seen in Nigeria, where the growth of DJ Mixes during 2022 has risen 3,000% year over year, making it one of the world’s top 10 countries for DJ mixes. Meanwhile, in South Africa, streams have grown 150% year over year, maintaining the country’s position as a top 10 market for DJ Mixes. Countries including Kenya, Uganda and Ghana are also key drivers of this growth.

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According to Apple Music, this growth has been driven by the explosion of African electronic genres including afrobeats, amapiano and Gqom, as produced by genre leaders including Wizkid, Tems, Burna Boy, CKay, Fireboy DML, Major League DJz, Kabza de Small, DJ Maphorisa, DBN Gogo and more. The platform also hosts mixes from a plethora of African dance music brands and curators including Soul Candi, Obrigado, KUNYE and The Balcony Mix Africa.

“If you have observed the evolution of African Music, you wouldn’t deny that DJs have been a necessary link between a track and its intended audience, through nightlife, radio and DJ mix CDs sold in traffic, especially unique to Nigeria in the early 2000s,” says David Evans-Uhegbu of Nigeria’s Party In The Jungle brand. “Within the last year, DJ mixes on Apple Music hasn’t only revived the DJs relevance, but has also created a new and substantial revenue stream for DJs, and for the audience – a nostalgic, new and exciting way to enjoy music.”

This African streaming bump coincides with the August 2021 launch of Apple Music’s DJ Mix program, which uses Shazam technology and an internal clearing team to determine what tracks DJs are using in DJ mixes — which have been historically tricky in terms of royalties — then directly paying rights holders for those usages. (This identification process, which Apple says it created in cooperation with major and independent labels, was set to pay out at least $2 million to DJs and suppliers from March 2020 through March 2021.)

Apple Music works closely with DJs and the suppliers of DJ mixes — including festivals, clubs, promoters, curators and independent labels — to ensure accurate compensation, with the company noting that the launch of this identification tool has fostered an influx of DJ mixes to the platform from across the global dance scene.