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  • Last.Fm in Africa

    28. Sep. 2007, 13:10

    African music is rather popular on Last.fm. Artists like Youssou N'dour, Orchestra Baobab and Ali Farka Touréhave significant numbers of listeners. But do these listeners also come from Africa? And how popular is Last.fm in Africa?

    Of course I know most Africans have something better to do than listening to last.fm - to struggle for life for example - but affordable high speed internet connections become more and more available in some african countries, so i thought it would be interesting to check how many users each african country has at this moment.

    A couple of things have to be taken into account when reading the data below:

    1. some countries seem to attract more misuse then others. To correct data for misuse in general I have reduced the number of users per country with 15. This is a number I estimate to reflect the avarage number of people that do not live in the country thay say they do.

    2. in order to obtain an idea about the penetration of Last.fm in Africa i have related the abolute number of users to the number of inhabitants of the country. (source wikipedia).

    So here are the results; And the winner is:

    (Absolute number of Last.fm users)

    1South Africa 2098
    2Zimbabwe 1340
    3Egypt 709
    4Morocco 347
    5Botswana 291
    6Djibouti 222
    7Algeria 198
    8Tunisia 188
    9Uganda 180
    10Mauritius 162
    11Angola 156
    12Nigeria 151
    13Burkina Faso 146
    14Ghana 130
    15Ethiopia 125
    16Western Sahara 117
    17Kenya 108
    18Madagascar 107
    19Côte d'Ivoire 89
    20Togo 82
    21Niger 81
    22Zambia 78
    23Mozambique 77
    24Democratic Republic of the Congo 75
    25Seychelles 71
    26Cape Verde 66
    27Rwanda 58
    28Tanzania 58
    29Swaziland 55
    30Cameroon 49
    31Chad 48
    32Benin 45
    33Namibia 44
    34Senegal 42
    35Burundi 41
    36Sierra Leone 39
    37Libya 38
    38Sudan 38
    39Somalia 37
    40Gabon 35
    41Mali 34
    42Malawi 33
    43Lesotho 32
    44Eritrea 31
    45Equatorial Guinea 29
    46Comoros 26
    47The Gambia 25
    48Central African Republic 20
    49Mauritania 19
    50Liberia 15
    51Guinea-Bissau 14
    52Guinea 8
    53Congo no data (last.fm please fix the page)

    I have the following comments on the data:

    - South Africa is number one because it is the best developed african country. Not a surprise.
    - Zimbabwe surprises me more. This country is in shatters because of 10 years of ruthless dictatorship by Robert Mugabe. I think the number of users can be explained by the number of Zimbabweans living abroad still feeling Zimbabwean because they were forced to leave the country. Real misuse might be triggerd because Zimbabwe is the last county in the list (a reverse 'Afghanistan' effect)
    - Northern african Countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt are relatively prosporous compared to the rest of the continent. These countries have relatively good internet facilities. In Marocco the ADSL market has been liberalised and free competion has led to more and more people with ADSL connections.
    - Botswana is no suprise either because this country has been one of the few countries in Africa that has been very stable and has been able to increase standards of living significantly the last 40 years.

    When relating absolute numbers to the number of inhabitants the top 20 looks like this:

    Country Penetration adjusted for misuse
    1Seychelles 0,000699
    2Djibouti 0,000438
    3Western Sahara 0,000398
    4Botswana 0,000173
    5Cape Verde 0,000125
    6Mauritius 0,000122
    7Zimbabwe 0,000116
    8South Africa 0,000048
    9Swaziland 0,000036
    10Equatorial Guinea 0,000028
    11Comoros 0,000018
    12Tunisia 0,000018
    13Gabon 0,000016
    14Namibia 0,000016
    15Angola 0,000013
    16Togo 0,000013
    17Morocco 0,000011
    18Burkina Faso 0,000010
    19Egypt 0,000010
    20Lesotho 0,000008

    - I have no idea why Djibouti and the Western Sahara do so well in this list. My only guess for Djibouti is that there is a USA military army base in Djibouti and that all their kids are Last.fm addicts (why not!)
    - Seychelles is the winner now, mainly because there are only 80.000 people living there.
    - Cape Verde is doing well on Last.fm not because they like music a lot over there, but because their economy is doing well. The same is the case for Mauritius.

    In general listening habits of african users seem te be pretty middle of the road (Muse, Radiohead)but there are some exceptions:

    Hoba Hoba Spirit are popular in Morocco and play a Mano Negra and Mau Mau like cheerful pop music. Free MP3 on their page!
    Chico Buarqueis popular in Cape Verde.
    Amr Diab is doing well in Egypt.

    Events list can be found on country pages of South Africa and Senegal. The most virtual and lonelyevent takes place in Burkina Faso.(Ban these folks!)