10 African music streaming platforms you need to know.

1. Simfy Africa (South Africa):

Simfy Africa was launched 2010 in South Africa
and is wholly owned by Exactmobile. It has a
catalogue of 27 million songs across all genres.
However, local music only makes 5% of their
catalogue. The streaming service is available in
Nigeria and South Africa, where users can try the platform for two weeks free of charge, and
thereafter need to chose one of the subscription
packages, which range from R25 to R60 per
month. The artist gets paid a proportionate
share of subscription revenue or a proportionate
share of the ad-revenue. The payout rates fluctuate each month, depending on how much
revenue was generated and how often music
was streamed, so a clear answer on revenue to
an artist per stream can’t be given.

2. Spinlet (Nigeria):

Spinlet is a privately held company which was
formed 2006 in Finland and bought by Nigerian
investors. It was launched in 2011 in Nigeria and
has regional offices in Lagos as well as the USA
and South Africa. It hit 650 000 subscribers in
2013 and targets to have 50 million by 2016. Currently Spinlet has 635 400 monthly unique
visitors, who can choose from a library
containing 50 000 local artists (according to
2013 data). Artists or aggregators can upload
music to the site and receive 90% of the money
generated from selling it, with 10% going to the company. The payout per stream is currently
about US$0.0038. Genres on the site include
Afrobeat, gospel, dancehall, Fuji, Highlife, Hip-
Hop, Hiplife, House, Jújú, Kwaito, Reggae, RnB
and Traditional.

3. Tigo (Tanzania/Ghana):

Tigo is the leading telecommunication company
in Tanzania, with over 8.5 million registered
subscribers on their network. It is owned by
Millicom, an international company with
commercial operations in 44 African and Latin
American countries. It launched its music stream in Latin America in 2013 and has since become
Colombia’s largest streaming service. Since
October 2014 it has been available in Ghana.
Tanzania followed in early 2015. Tigo Music
offers a catalogue of 36 million songs in
cooperation with Deezer. It aims to support locally-produced music and regularly adds local
African content to its library. The revenue for
the artist could not be found but as the music
is streamed from the Deezer library it is likely be
what Deezer pays, which is around US$0,0168
per stream (according to July 2015 data).

4. Mdundo (Kenya):

Mdundo is an audio content sharing platform
that allows users to upload, download and
stream music. It was formed 2012 in Kenya. By
2015, 6000 artists had signed up to the platform.
It has about 60 000 monthly unique visitors and
as of early 2015, some 250 000 people had downloaded music from the site. Customers can
download for free within a limit, or pay 300
Kenyan shillings (around $3) a month for
unlimited access without adverts. Mdundo pays
70% of the revenue to the artist, but does not
guarantee a fixed amount per download. Usually the revenue to the artist is to date around US
$0.038 per download/stream. In 2014 more than
US$18000 was paid to copyright owners, mainly
made from advertising.

5. iRoking (Nigeria):

iRoking is a free Nigerian streaming service
offering streaming of selected music from a
range of African labels and artists. It was
founded in September 2010 and has its
headquarters in Nigeria with a branch in UK.
According to 2012 data it has 100 000 users and a library of 35 000 tracks containing mainly
Afro-Pop, Gospel, Jazz, Afro Beat, Juju and hip-
hop from Nigeria’s biggest artists. This site
reaches over 20 000 people a month, of which
38% are reportedly based in the US.

6. Vuga (Nigeria):

Vuga was formed in Nigeria in mid-2013 and a
beta version was launched in the US in 2015.
The platform publishes and distributes African
music content via any connected device,
through the use of specific metadata and
computer algorithms. The catalogue currently contains about 65 000 songs, with over 1000
new tracks added monthly. A cool feature is
that information about every individual song
that goes on the Vuga platform includes
detailed information about the artist too. Vuga
currently offers music from about 600 artists to their roughly 5000 users (1500 of them active).
The music streamed on the site is for free. Music
genres on offer include Afro-pop, hip-hop,
R&B, reggae, jazz, soul, Juju, Afrobeat and Fuji.
These are consumed by 7000 unique monthly
visitors, mainly from the US, UK, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and the Netherlands.

7. Mziiki (Tanzania):

Mziiki is a free music streaming service from
Tanzania. It was unveiled by Spice VAS Africa, a
subsidiary of a Singapore-based digital content
company. Some 1500 local and international
artists have already joined. It has 800 sub-
Saharan artists signed to exclusive distribution deals and looks set to expand. Mziiki’s
catalogue contains mainly African content
across all genres, as well as some international
music. It currently has more than 100 000
regular users, largely due to the fact that all the
music is free (for the time being, at least). Mziiki will soon transition to a two-tiered model, with
ad-supported free music and user subscriptions.

8. Mkito (Tanzania):

Mkito.com is a Tanzania-based company that
launched in 2014. To date users can download
90% of its music catalogue for free, with the
other 10% requiring payment. To earn revenue,
Mkito is supported by ads, primarily short
messages before a track is played. Mkito has over 290 000 unique viewers and 35 000 regular
users since launching, thanks in large part to
artists promoting the platform.

9. Orin (Nigeria):

Orin was founded by NETng, a Nigerian
company. First discussed during the Nigerian Entertainment Conference in 2014 and launched in 2015, the platform aims to provide 100%
African music content on a streaming platform
with a social feel. Orin’s library consists of over
5000 audio tracks and 1000 videos (as of April
2015) but aims to expand this to 100 000 tracks
within the next 12 month. The service is 100% free to use (for now), although it is planned to
stream for probably $3 a month in the future.
Revenue so far is made purely from advertising.
Royalties are paid to artists, although the exact
amount paid out is unclear.

10. Las Gidi Tunes (Nigeria):

Las Gidi Tunes was founded by Femi Ashafa in
2014. It streams free music from Nigeria and
surrounding African countries. It incorporates
social networking elements into the user
experience, so users can create and share
playlists, access each other’s playlists and also interact with other users. LasGidi Tunes is free to
use. To utilise the service, users are required to
sign up by email or their existing social media
accounts.

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