How Zimbabwe’s music industry can harness digital sphere

How Zimbabwe’s music industry can harness digital sphere


HARARE: According to Statista, the digital music market in Africa is expected to see a significant growth in revenue, with projections indicating that it will reach US$533 million in 2024.

Among the various segments within the market, music streaming is expected to dominate, with a projected market volume of US$410.7 million in 2024. This has huge implications for musicians and music industry professionals in Zimbabwe, which like other African nations is not immune to challenges in infrastructure and access.

Despite these challenges, the country has produced many talented artists who have gained recognition beyond its borders. The rise of digital platforms and the internet has also provided new opportunities for Zimbabwean musicians to reach a global audience.

This is true for Young Gemini, one of Zimbabwe’s youngest rappers rapidly on the rise. Sharing her experience in the digital environment , Young Gemini believes that:

The digital space is important, especially for artists without an appropriate marketing budget. You can get on a platform like TikTok for free and market your music there without having to fork out thousands of dollars. And now there’s monetization for your music you can earn without having to perform unlike previous eras where you only had to perform to earn from your music.

Young Gemini, one of Zimbabwe’s youngest rappers.

At the end of 2023, a workshop or “Indaba” under the name SeHlukene/Kusiyana-siyana: Promoting Zimbabwe’s Music Sector in the Digital Space brought together in Harare  over 70 music industry professionals, private sector representatives and Government stakeholders to share best practices and recommendations to address the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies in the country’s music sector.

The Indaba came off the heels of the elaboration of a baseline study by Sound Diplomacy—commissioned by UNESCO and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe with assistance from the Government of France—to gain a better understanding of the digital environment in the music industry in Zimbabwe.

As Statista’s figures show, there are immense opportunities for Zimbabwean creatives to harness the power of the digital sphere to make a living.

The Baseline Study of the Digital Environment in the Music Sector in Zimbabwe, proposes tangible, context-based measures for the development of a robust, adaptive, creative and economically sustainable music sector in Zimbabwe.