- 15 July 2014
By Vincent Matinde
Music distribution via ringtones and ringback tones is an unstoppable trend in Africa despite other emerging avenues such as online streaming, says an expert.
“Mobile is 99% of the way music is going to be consumed and distributed in Africa,” Yoel Kenan, the chief executive officer of B2B music distribution and licensing service Africori, has told ITWeb Africa.
“We focus on only African music, we also focus generating revenue for African music in Africa and outside Africa. Outside of Africa is strongly web driven in Africa is mostly generated through mobile cells (cellular phones),” Kenan said.
Kenan’s theory is that there is a natural evolution of music consumption in Africa.
That is, it started with the use of music as a mobile phone ringtone or ringback tone. This is what he terms the first digital music revolution. Meanwhile, the second digital music revolution in Africa is to depend on the web with streaming services.
“Our goal as a music player was really to have a central play in what I call the second digital revolution cycle,” Kenan said.
He added that, “We are focusing on the second cycle which is has not yet hit Africa. But it is starting to hit Africa. However, the first cycle of the digital music is not showing any signs of coming down yet.”
Kenan attributed this stagnation to feature phones being a major tool in Africa and only a small percentage of people in Africa have smartphones that can stream music easily from the web.
In a study by Telecoms.com in January this year, the total African handset ownership is at 993 million people with only 112 million owning smartphones.