Online mobile music sites springing up in francophone countries – Two start-ups join the party in Congo-Brazzaville and DRC

Top Story

There are well over 100 online and mobile music platforms in Africa and not a week seems to pass without another one being launched. This week it's the turn of the two francophone Congos – DRC and Brazzaville – as music platforms start to spread more widely into francophone Africa.

It’s a bit of surprise that it’s not happened earlier. Both Congo-Brazzaville and DRC have such a rich musical talent pool. Congo-B’s latest music platform start-up Litoyi has set out to present the best of music from both banks of the Congo river. Launched by Kenan Jered Mfoundou, he simply wants to make the music available without the user having to download it. Users can also share tracks they like with friends over social networks and encourage them to visit the site.

In interview with Les Depeches de Brazzaville, Mfoundou (also known as Kmj) said that artists could use the platform to gain visibility and that it was working with the local rights organisation, le Bureau congolais des Droits d'auteurs to ensure that artists and composers got paid. Like every start-up without funds behind it, it's hoping that it will go viral.

"In its first year we’re focusing on 1 million listening hours , the equivalent of a 3-minute song heard 20 million times." At present, it says that it has “hundreds of songs” on the platform. Currently neither users nor artists pay and it’s hoping to attract advertising. At the moment it’s a website, but it’s finalising an app and hoping to sign with a local mobile company.

Meanwhile on the other river bank of the Congo in DRC’s capital Kinshasa Baziks Entertainment (a start-up in its third year) has launched two new platforms, baziks-pulse.com and de Baziks store.

"After three years of experience, the challenge now is to turn the potential of the digital music market into a real economy. Therefore, a complete reorientation of the strategy was made to strengthen the pioneering role that Baziks will play in the coming months", said Joyce Finunu, Technical Manager Baziks Entertainment.

The start-up says it has signed agreement with some local mobile operators. It describes Baziks-pulse.com as sitting at the crossroads of streaming and downloading. On the side, it allows artists to get their music out and interact with their fan base and on the other side allows music lovers to discover artists from a new generation.

In its three years of existence, many artists have become more well known to the world with the help of Baziks among which include Melina Katende, Melody of Love, G.NAX , Machine Record and Kevin Mengi. It has about 110,000 music tracks online, 50,000 free downloads and more than 100,000 visitors to its website.

To know more about what’s happening in the music services market, why not buy Balancing Act’s market report Music: Digital Music platforms in Africa (November 2014).

 

Source: Balancing Act, 29th May 2015.


 

Innovation in Africa is a fortnightly e-letter that covers: start-ups and investment; energy; ICT4D; 3D printing; and innovation in Africa and its cities. We have already produced 32 issues and these can be viewed here:

Essential reading for those interested in new start-ups and innovation that will change Africa. If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to info@balancingact-africa.com with Innovation in Africa in the title line. Some examples of past issues below:


3D Printing in Africa – A Slow Burn Movement with huge potential that has yet to find its growth path


Separating Hype from Reality in the Fizzy World of Africa Start-Ups – VC4Africa survey findings


Education entrepreneur Obinna Ukwuani, Exposure Robotics’ plans to launch the first African STEM secondary school in Nigeria

 

Videos interviews to watch:

 
Sacha Poingnonnec, Africa Internet Group on the challenges of running an online business in Africa

Fernando de Sousa, Microsoft on what the business model is for TV White Spaces in Africa

Dominic Vergine, ARM on Literacy Bridge's talking book with advice for farmers in Northern Ghana


Candace Nkoth Bisseck on how Kaymu is connecting buyers and sellers online in Cameroon

Dominic Vergine, ARM on Literacy Bridge's talking book with advice for farmers in Northern Ghana


Emma Kaye, Bozza on raising GBP0.5 million its African content marketplace


Stephen Lee on what Tigo Music (in partnership with Deezer) is doing in Africa


GSMA's Claire Sibthorpe on a study on the gap between men and women's use of mobile phones in Africa


Francis Dufay on breaking down the mistrust barrier to make a success of Jumia in Cote d'Ivoire


Mohamed Diaby on hackathons, start up seed funds and online potential in Cote d'Ivoire