Spotify has revealed, with facts and figures, just how influential mega-group BTS is in sub-Saharan African music markets with other K-pop groups.
Today, Western music no longer maintains this unique dominance. We are now seeing music from new corners of the world gaining the same global popularity. The latest to follow in this trend of globalization is South Korean pop music, better known as K-pop. Partly driven by the promotion of South Korean culture through TV dramas – and fueled by the widespread success of South Korean artist Psy Gangnam styleK-pop is on the rise. This year, K-pop boy group BTS made history by becoming the first Korean act to be nominated for the fifth time, in as many consecutive years, at the Grammy Awards.
Surprisingly, however, while Africa is making its musical presence known to the world, Korean culture and music has steadily permeated the continent – and its popularity continues to grow.
According to Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu
“Surprisingly, there is a 93% year-on-year increase in K-pop streams in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022, accounting for more than 3 billion hours of broadcasting. It is clear from this data that K-pop is not just a passing phase, it has A dedicated and growing African fan base.”
Some of the major markets that contributed to this increase are Nigeria, with a 267% increase in K-pop streams, Ghana, with a 236% increase and Kenya, with a 140% increase.
So what exactly is driving this growing interest in K-pop on the continent?
Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu, revealed:
“In an increasingly connected world, on-demand streaming services like Spotify have certainly made it easier than ever to tap into another country’s music. Streaming has become instrumental in not only enabling discovery of African music abroad but also in exposing African listeners to new and unexpected sounds.” ,
However, what really captures the hearts of this new audience is the diverse sounds that K-pop offers. Although it is called Korean pop, K-pop is actually varied across a large number of music genres such as Pop, Hip Hop, R&B, Rock, Jazz, Reggae, Disco, and even traditional and popular Korean musical styles. K-pop is basically not a genre, but simply music from Korean artists – colloquially known as idols.
Legendary group BTS, who are the number one streaming K-pop artists in sub-Saharan Africa and dominate the list of most streamed songs, cover almost every genre in their discography – including South African Gqom. hit the band Idol It features Gqom-style beats while the video tips its hat to the continent at the band’s dance moves and their African print suits. Girl group BS (or Black Swan) made history in 2020 when it performed as the first ever African K-Pop group, Senegalese model Fatou Samba.
On top of this musical range, K-pop artists are also known for their extremely tight and extravagant choreography, high-value stage and music video productions, and the distinctive style and “concept” of each K-pop group. Not to mention the stylish good looks and fashion of these extremely talented artists.
Phiona Okumu is also added
This year, K-pop showcased its staying power in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with millions of streams in countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria — the top three in K-pop consumption on the continent, respectively. Other countries that made it into the top 10 K-pop markets in Sub-Saharan Africa included Mauritius, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana,
K-Pop stars have also increasingly targeted global audiences by collaborating with acts from the West. In Africa this seems to have real appeal – the first K-Pop song to be airplayed is worldwidea collaboration between BTS and Coldplay, with second place taken by Left and Right, another collaboration between Charlie Puth and Jung Kook of BTS.
|Top 10 K-pop Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa|
Top streaming k-pop artists in sub-saharan africa
- Stray kids
- Pink black
- Tomorrow X together
- J Hope from BTS
- Jungkook from BTS
The Best Streaming K-POP Tracks in Sub-Saharan Africa
- worldwide – BTS, Coldplay
- Left and Right (feat. Jungkook from BTS) – Charlie Puth
- dynamite – BTS
- money – Lisa from Blackpink
- ghee – BTS
- Stay Alive (Produced by SUGA from BTS) – Jungkook from BTS
- Will come – BTS
- Christmas tree – V from BTS
- BTS run – BTS
- pink poison – Pink black
Get updates as they come in Twitter and Facebook