Music Streaming Services In Africa Are In A Tight Race To Become Africa’s Spotify
The number of internet users in Africa seems to be growing by the day. With this growth, the market for online products also keeps finding Africa as a lucrative market. Local African entrepreneurs are also not being left behind they are coming up with new innovative ways to cash in on the increasing adoption of ICT and technology. Today Innov8tiv takes a look at how the music industry is cashing in on the growing use of internet as a source of entertainment.
The last couple of years have seen the numbers of music streaming services launched in Africa grow into their hundreds. And there seems to be no stopping, or at least not yet. This is despite the fact that the African music streaming service market is becoming saturated by the day. If any of these start-ups hope to be anywhere near the calibre of Spotify. Then they need to survive the heat of the competition in the already over-crowding industry, monetise their efforts and fight against music piracy to ensure more artist appreciate their services.
Mkito.com is one of the latest to join the industry, although it only streams 30 seconds of the song, after that users can download it to continue listening if they liked the song. It was launched in April 29, 2014 and intends to sign up 500,000 users by the end of its first year of operations. Users from across the globe can buy content from Mkito, but currently their payment systems only caters for MasterCard, Visa, PesaPal and mobile money (within Tanzania).
Mkito also allows Tanzanian users to download up to 10 tracks monthly for free. They can choose any tracks on Mkito, but these tracks will have 5 seconds of adverts attached to them and thus artists still get paid for every download, whether paid for or downloaded for free. Currently the platform has music genres such as bongo flava which accounts up to 40% of its music collection. It also has pop music, tana and reggae. On the Mkito.com platform, artists have their own profile that shows their complete biography, album news and their new music releases.
Kenya too has not been left behind when it come to music streaming services. Also by the end of last month, Mziiki.com was launched at iHub in Nairobi. Mziiki.com is a free streaming service made possible by Spice VAS Africa. The Regional Manager for Spice VAS Africa, Vishall Rane in an interview with TechMoran said, “Mziiki allows users to stream full tracks of music they love at no cost and they can also share the music with their friends on social media.”
Rane said that in the future, Mziiki will charge users a small fee to raise some revenue to meet the cost of operations and also to pay the artists. They have also developed an app that is available for free download from Google Play, Blackberry store and iTunes Store.
Both Mziiki.com and Mkito.com are launching into a relatively crowded African music market. They will have to go up against other competitors that includes Orin, Simfy, MyMusic, Spinlet, Truspot, iROKING, Gidilounge, Grumi, lasgiditunes, Mdundo and MyZiki among others.