Spotify is a pioneer in music streaming and is arguably the best-known service, Apple Music runs second to Spotify in terms of subscribers. However, there are African-focused music streaming platforms that you can explore.
By 2024, Africa’s music streaming revenues are expected to have hit a 12% annual growth that will see the market reach a volume of $822 million.
A research by Weetracker revealed that 50% of Africa’s homegrown music streaming platforms require users to pay a subscription fee. Furthermore, 37.5 % of these platforms have adopted the freemium business model and 12.5% of them have incorporated both the freemium package and the premium package.
In this article, I curated a listicle of some of these platforms.
Launched in 2015 by Transsnet Music Limited, Boomplay primarily focuses on African local and urban music content. Currently, the platform has over 5 million music tracks and videos with 42 million monthly active users. 85% of the users are African residents, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
With Boomplay, you can either use the free or the premium option. Once installed, you automatically have access to ad-supported content on the app. However, you can download only selected music while on the free version.
With 899 Naira ($2.15), you can have access to a one-month subscription to Boomplay premium. This option gives you exclusive access to download unlimited music to play offline [and save data], it is also ad-free.
Mkito is a Tanzania online music app launched in 2014 by Sune Mushendwa to help Tanzania artists with music distribution. For Mikito, users have a limited number of music downloads they can make for free every month, thereafter they are required to pay a fee.
audiofrica offers global music with African roots. It was launched in 2017 by Appsfrica in Boston Ma in the United States Of America. For instance, the app allows you access to the Black Panther movie song playlist as well as customized playlists and DJ mixes for every mood.
The app is free for the first 60 days. After the free trial, users can opt for the following subscription options: $1 for 90 days or $5 for 180 days.
Founded in 2012, Mdundo is an Africa-focused music streaming service based in Kenya. Last December, Mdundo had 1.7 million international songs on its platform and 367,000 tracks uploaded by 122,000 African musicians. Artists listed on the platform get over 50% of the company's income.
Mdundo can be accessed free of charge for download and streaming, supported by advertisement. However, ads-free premium services can be afforded for $0.034 per day.
Launched in April 2019 by Chidi Okeke, uduX is arguably Nigeria's first indigenous subscription-based music store and streaming service platform. With 500 Naira ( $1.19), users can access the premium option on the platform.
uduX has licenses from the world’s three largest music companies, Sony Music, Warner Music group, and Universal Music Group. In 2019, the platform exclusively released Wizkid’s “Made in Lagos” album.
In 2021, uduX launched PopRev, a product that allows fans to invest in a musician's project and make profits based on the digital streaming performance.
Read Also: The history of music distribution in Nigeria
Mziiki, meaning music in Swahili, is an African music streaming App launched in mid-2014 by Spice VAS Africa. Currently, it has exclusive licenses from over 800 local African artists.
Songa by Safricom
In 2018, Safaricom, a leading telecommunications company in Kenya launched Songa, a premium subscription service that provides users with access to unlimited on-demand audio streaming services.
With $4.38, users can have premium access to the platform for a month. However, it is only available to Safricom and Android users
With over 50 million songs, Playfre was founded in 2019 by Chika Nwaogu to provide unlimited music to Africans for free. Currently, the platform is available only in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.
Playfre Pro can be accessed for $1 per month. The platform has crossed the one-million streams milestone with over 5000 registered users.
Global music streaming platform, Audiomack expanded to Africa via Nigeria in 2020, offering African artists a platform to upload their content for free, with an option to upgrade to a premium of $4.99 per month so that they can get paid when their music is played.
In April 2021, Audiomack partnered with MTN Nigeria to unveil the Audiomack+MTN Data Bundle program to offer MTN subscribers tailored data bundles for streaming unlimited music and accessing content on Audiomack at zero data cost.
Smubu is another Kenyan music streaming platform. Founded in January 2018, Smubu aims to make African music legally and easily accessible to users, the platform has over 200,000 active users with a 100,000 track strong library to offer.
Which African-focused streaming platform did we omit? Tweet your response to us.