You Are The Future of African Podcasting
Big changes in the podcasting industry, opportunities and resources.
Mulibwanji! Greetings to you at the end of what has been an action-packed month in the podcasting world! CNN’s Inside Africa highlighted the story behind Africa Podcast Day, speaking to podcast makers from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Read more on this groundbreaking story in this newsy.
Of all the influential actors shaping the podcasting industry, we at Africa Podfest believe that YOU - the podcaster putting your story on the map - are the most powerful force shaping what will become the future of the African audio industry. This is why we are busy in the Africa Podfest kitchen cooking up ideas to bring spaces and opportunities that connect people and elevate the game in African podcasting. We can hardly wait to make announcements in the coming months!
As the world around us evolves, it is you and I who have the power to tell our stories and bring about the change we want to see in our communities. What are you dreaming of for your podcast? What do you need? Your answers could be waiting for you in the community.
In this spirit, we are very pleased to launch a new experimental podcast by Africa Podfest called Sema Nasi (this means ‘say it with us’ in Kiswahili). It’s a series of takes on African podcasting from our team and the African podcast community. We are hosting it here on Substack, and new episodes will be delivered to you via email starting Saturday 1 May.
Wishing you strength and confidence,
Melissa Mbugua, Co-Director, Africa Podfest.
Global Audio Industry Shifts
Spotify, the world’s most popular audio streaming service, is expanding aggressively into more African countries. Facebook announced that it will be launching a podcasting layer in the coming months while Apple and Spotify have launched podcast subscriptions that support podcasters to earn income from their podcasts. Twitter is already rolling out live audio conversations, which brings audio to the center of community engagement on the platform and allows users to monetize their fan base. Deezer also made moves by opening its Podcasts tab in Africa. While the tech giants move into Africa, they are meeting homegrown companies like Mdundo, Iono.fm and Afripods that have been laying the groundwork for years and built relationships with local content creators. 2021 is definitely unfolding in interesting ways for audio streaming, amplifying questions in the African podcast community about distribution and commercialisation. African podcasters often say that they do it for passion, not money, but it looks like the time for money is coming soon to those who have been nurturing their podcasts!
April is also the month when our friends at SemaBOX in Nairobi launched the continent’s first podcast incubator dedicated to raising women’s voices, which we are *very* excited to share more about in this newsy.
Podcasts are Shaping the Conversation Across Africa
On February 12, African podcasters and their supporters around the world celebrated the second annual Africa Podcast Day. We at Africa Podfest hosted an all-day festival online which was full of fun, learning and networking. On the back of this festival, CNN’s Inside Africa covered the behind-the-scenes story of what it took to build the first ever global podcasting event focussed on Africa, capturing the experiences of our team and the wonderful partners who made it happen. In the show you get to meet pioneer podcasters in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Lagos and hear them talk about why they believe the time for African stories is now. Watch the episode now (don’t wait another minute), it is entertaining, informative and inspiring!
From Africa, A World First for Women’s Voices
On 26 April, SemaBOX launched the world’s first incubator focussed on women podcasters. SemaBOX is a plug-and-play specialist podcasting studio launched in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. Responding to the reality of underrepresentation of women in media across the Global South, the team built the Dada Podcast Incubator to amplify the voices of amazing Kenyan women whose ideas and perspectives can resonate globally. Over a 100-day period, participants will receive support to get their first 10 episodes off the ground including $15,000 worth of production studio credits, training in media ethics, branding, production and distribution, connections to collaborators and marketing support.
Participants are selected on the basis of unique storytelling ability, public interest storytelling, and an ethical approach to issues, with consideration given to women, LGBTQ+ persons and women-identifying individuals.
We spoke to Doris Onyango, the Dada Podcast Incubator Manager, whose hope is to scale this beyond Kenya to other African countries in future. Watch our interview with Doris here and learn more about the initiative and how to plug in.
Opportunities and Resources
Podcast Sessions Digital Magazine is looking for contributors for their monthly issues. As long as you are involved in podcasting in Africa and have something to share with the pod community from where you are, you are eligible to contribute! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Improve your podcast - if you have a good number of episodes under your belt and feel you need to level up, here is a good resource from Radio Public with detailed guides from experienced podcasters. Find this and many more free tools in the Podcaster Toolbox.
Get featured in our paid promotions segment to spread the word about your podcast, event or job opportunity to 800+ pioneers in African podcasting and leaders in the global podcast industry. Contact us at email@example.com to learn more and book your spot.
Partner With Us
Africa Podfest inspires and elevates African podcasters to build a sustainable and inclusive podcasting industry across Africa. Our intention is to achieve this by simplifying podcast learning, placing a spotlight on African podcasters, and centring voices that have been in the margins. We welcome support from individuals and institutions. Email us to inquire about institutional partnership firstname.lastname@example.org