What is YouTube doing for the creator economy in Africa in 2022?
YouTube is a platform that celebrates a broad and diverse set of voices. The promotion of the rich diversity of YouTube's creator and artist community is crucial in ensuring that YouTube is inclusive and equitable.
YouTube is committed to helping the continent’s creators to thrive. In the past few years, they have embarked on initiatives with the purpose of upskilling creators in Africa and helping them increase their content’s reach and earning potential.
Since the 2020 launch of the #YouTubeBlack Voices programme, creators from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have been selected to participate in programmes (and benefit from funding) earmarked to help amplify their fresh narratives and highlight their intellectual power, authenticity.
The YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021 made up of 19 creators and 4 artists from Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) were among 132 creators from across the world, while the YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022 includes SSA artists, songwriters and producers including rising acts like Nigeria’s Ckay and Omah Lay and South Africa’s Major League DJz.
More recently, as part of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2022 - 133 creators (26 from SSA, 4 from Kenya, 11 from Nigeria and 11 from South Africa) from around the world were selected to participate in this year’s edition of the initiative dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to thrive on our platform.
It’s encouraging to see that YouTube channels across the continent continue to show tremendous signs of growth and popularity, as shown by the statistics below:
On a global scale, over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. There are localised versions of YouTube in 100 countries around the world across 80 languages, covering 95% of all internet traffic.
Additionally, more than 70% of watch time happens on mobile devices while YouTube watchtime on mobile app devices averages more than 60 minutes per day. Watch time on YouTube on television screens alone now tops over 250 million hours per day.
With a mission to give everyone a voice and show them the world, YouTube serves over two billion monthly logged-in users and people watching over a billion hours of video, not to mention, the billions of views generated daily.
In order to provide tangible support to creators on the continent, YouTube has made some strategic team hires who will drive the vision forward:
- Solafunmi Sosanya (Nigeria):
Sosanya leads YouTube Strategy for Nigeria as well as strategic content partnerships. Prior to Google, she led strong brands like MTV Base and other ViacomCBS channels in Africa, as well as commissioned major TV formats for Africa Magic/M-Net.
A passionate creative, with over 12 years experience in content strategy and strategic management, she has gleaned valuable knowledge across Kids, Youth and Family segments as well as music, film/series, reality, lifestyle and factual genres.
Zeph Masote, YouTube Content Partnerships Lead for South Africa
- Zeph Masote (South Africa):
Masote is an experienced media executive with over 10 years of experience overseeing media rights negotiation and distribution in sub-Saharan Africa - with a focus on sports and entertainment rights distribution and acquisition for IMG Media, Fox International Channels and The Walt Disney Company (Africa). He is the YouTube Content Partnerships Lead for South Africa where he is the lead for YouTube’s content strategy as well as strategic partnerships.
- Kgomotso Taje (Shorts SSA):
Taje is a community and partnership manager for YouTube Shorts SSA region. Before joining YouTube in October 2020, Taje was a creator and partnership manager for TikTok South Africa as part of the user operations team responsible for user, creator and content partner acquisitions. A role that gave her the opportunity to build fashion, beauty and food verticals, create successful incubation programs for creators and so much more.
Taje also has extensive experience in the South African radio and television industry from content curation, writing, researching, digital production and partner relations. She has a passion for storytelling as well as being involved in the nurturing and amplification of African creatives to the rest of the world.
Kgomotso Taje, community and partnership manager for YouTube Shorts SSA region
- Addy Awofisayo (YouTube Music lead, SSA):
Awofisayo is the Head of Music, sub-Saharan Africa at YouTube, responsible for defining and executing the strategy for African music. In this role, she works with artists, labels and music companies to grow their businesses on YouTube, and forms partnerships with organisations to grow the music ecosystem in Africa.
Previously, she led content partnerships for sub-Saharan Africa at YouTube, working with creators and media companies on the continent. In that role, she led the launch of initiatives such as Africa Creator Week, #YouTubeBlack Voices for Creators and Artists in Africa, and Africa Day Concert hosted by Idris Elba.
Awofisayo is a media and tech professional with over 15 years of global experience working in various strategy, finance, content and partnerships roles across Africa, Europe and North America. She began her career at Microsoft in Washington working in Finance & Strategy. Kicking off her career in media, she worked at Discovery Communications on the content team for international markets, and also served as the director for content and business strategy for a Pan-African media organisation. Addy holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters from Harvard University.