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Kenyan Artists yet to Fully Exploit YouTube’s Income Opportunities, Official Says

Kenyans are missing out on income opportunities from YouTube, the company has said. According to Head of YouTube Music Business and Partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa Addy Awofisayo, Kenya leads in the consumption of content, but creators have not fully exploited income opportunities on the platform.

Addy said there were a number of factors contributing to this, but the biggest issue was lack of sufficient knowledge on positioning brands and content for maximum revenue generation.

“One of the problems I have noticed is artistes not surrounded by the right team. You see a talented artiste with a manager who is not experienced and lacks knowledge of the music business and this definitely has an impact on the artiste’s revenues. Some artistes also lack YouTube channels. Most have been discovered on YouTube, but a majority don’t have their channels. How are they going to make money?” Awofisayo told the Saturday Nation.

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According to data from Statista, the music streaming business in Africa had grown to $241 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $484 million by 2026.

Addy added that to succeed on the platform, content creators also need to be consistent and put in the work.

“We are living at a time when people are consuming all kinds of content; they want to know what you eat, how you live, where you shop and things like that. All these contribute to the healthy growth of a channel which in return translates to revenues,” she said.

According to YouTube’s parent company Alphabet’s report, the platform raked in $28.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2021 and paid out more than $15 billion (Sh1.8 trillion) to creators globally. YouTube takes a 45 percent cut from advertising revenue, with 55 percent going to the creator.

Read also: Kenyan Artists Missing from YouTube Africa Day Performance Line-up

Addy urged content creators to understand their audience so they can tailor-make their content to suit them. She also said Kenyan artists and content creators should take advantage of funding programs on the platform to grow.

The funds include YouTube Black Voices Fund which is dedicated to spotlighting and growing black creators. Some Kenyans who have benefitted from the $100 million fund include Sauti Sol, Vloggers Mandi Sarro, Justus Nandwa and Make-up artist Cheynne Chelimo.

“This is currently our largest support fund and I would urge creatives to take up the opportunity and apply for the 2023 class while the window is still open.” Addy said.

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