Creatives: There are few papers on the platformization of the creative economy in the global South. According to one research, it was clear that even if creatives can use social media as channels of distribution, there currently exists no revenue models that allow them to make returns on their work.  Another concern with the creative economy was piracy as there lacks information and documentation of the processes that animate the chain of production and labor dynamics in these economies .Despite the availability of digital technologies, the creative industry has not embraced it well. Research in this sector has been limited.

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The pursuit of platform livelihoods in the creative clusters Global south is not well documented in this initial corpus of 75 studies. But the general shift in how art of all kinds is created, distributed, purchased and consumed in the digital era will likely the livelihood prospects for many in the creative industries in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Consider, for example, how musicians use Spotify and YouTube to disintermediate concert agents and cultivate relationships with fans (Baym 2018). Hints of what this may look like are in South Africa (Schoon 2016) and Kenya (Wyche, Forte, and Yardi Schoenebeck 2013), but a broader scan in the media studies literature is merited, and will be undertaken future revisions of this review.  

In the meantime it is worth noting how issues around digital piracy challenge calls for actively confronting and redressing the persisting lack of information and poor documentation of the processes that animate the chain of production and labor dynamics in these economies (Sow 2016, para. 7).

Although social media offers no revenue, it is an effective channel to get an audience. In other words, it lacks “revenue models that allow artists to make returns on their work” (Hivos East Africa 2018, 11).


Baym, Nancy K. 2018. Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection. NYU Press.

Hivos East Africa. 2018. “Ubunifu Report 2016: The Status of Creative Economy in East Africa.” Nairobi, Kenya: Hivos East Africa.

Schoon, Alette. 2016. “Distributing Hip-Hop in a South African Town: From the Digital Backyard Studio to the Translocal Ghetto Internet.” In Proceedings of the First African Conference on Human Computer Interaction, 104–113. AfriCHI’16. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.

Sow, Mariama. 2016. “Figures of the Week: Africa’s Entertainment and Media Industry.” Brookings (blog). October 27, 2016.

Wyche, Susan P., Andrea Forte, and Sarita Yardi Schoenebeck. 2013. “Hustling Online: Understanding Consolidated Facebook Use in an Informal Settlement in Nairobi.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2823–2832. CHI ’13. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.