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B Side, Music

Day 1 of Spotify’s Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams Celebration was a Big Lead-in

Spotify’s commitment to fostering creativity and embracing the power of podcasting highlights its dedication to both music and its growing community of creators.

  • Melony Akpoghene
  • 14th October 2023
Spotify Journey of a Billion Streams Celebration

Earlier this year, Spotify launched a microsite that tracks everything Afrobeats. This digital exhibit acts as living proof to the artists, producers, music executives and more, who continue to contribute to make Afrobeats a worldwide phenomenon. And to celebrate this huge milestone, Spotify planned a party set for October 13th, 2023. Before the grand party on Friday, though, Spotify made sure to lay the groundwork with live podcast recordings held on Thursday, October 12th, at La Madison Place, Lekki.

 

 

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The morning began with a podcast workshop — a space where the voices behind the mics could discuss. It provided an exclusive platform for both aspiring and established podcasters to come together, learn, and network. Podcasting has become an influential medium for storytelling, and the workshop emphasized the importance of creating compelling narratives. It demonstrated Spotify’s commitment to nurturing not only the music itself but also the voices and narratives that surround it.

 

The workshop featured Spotify’s Podcast Manager for SSA Ncebakazi Manzi. Budding podcasters had the opportunity to learn from experienced creators like Dami of So Nigerian podcast, Fay Fay of Naija Pod Hub, Ayomide Tayo of the 234 Essential Podcast, Tony Doe from Into The Podverse, etc, gaining valuable insights into the art of weaving authentic stories and cultivating a consistent work culture.

 

 

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The second masterclass, tagged “Understanding Spotify’s Playlists and Partnerships,” moderated by music journalist and founder of Afrobeats Intelligence, Joey Akan, saw Victor Okpala, Spotify’s Artists and Label Partnerships Manager for West Africa, sharing info about Spotify’s playlist data that was enlightening and crucial. It was a revelation into the science behind the playlists we love — from Fresh Finds to African Heat and RADAR. But most importantly, the masterclass served as a peek behind the curtain, offering a glimpse into how data is shaping the music industry, allowing artists to connect with their audience in profound ways.

 

 

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Simply, it was an educational prelude to the grand celebration, shedding light on the data-driven intricacies of the genre’s surge. This session was particularly interesting to me as someone who is very keen about playlist politics because it was like a backstage pass to the inner workings of Spotify’s playlisting system and Victor Okpala offered very informative and clear explanations with visual aids, too.

 

The day progressed, evening came and guests were entertained even more by the charismatic presence of the ISWIS podcast hosts, Jola Ayeye and FK Abudu.

 

 

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With humor and wit, they took the stage and thrilled the audience with a live recording that was as engaging as it was entertaining. They really did their part at delivering great banter and an engaging Q&A session. The special guests — Nigerian artists, Pheelz and Nissi, who recently dropped her sophomore EP — contributed to pouring more excitement that echoed through the evening. Pheelz’s performance at the end of the show added more cherries on the cake.


Spotify’s commitment to fostering creativity and embracing the power of podcasting highlights its dedication to both music and its growing community of creators.

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