and Microsoft Partnering to Provide Free Music to Africans

Digital Content, Kenya’s largest mobile app for legal music downloads, and Microsoft, have teamed up, allowing consumers who buy the $200 Huawei 4Afrika phone a premium Mdundo account for six weeks. Users can download the app and instantly gain access to a library of more than 2,000 songs directly from their mobile phone.

“Internet prices are still relatively high in comparison to living costs in Africa,” says Gustav Ericsson, CEO of Mdundo. “A download service versus a streaming service, per say, makes more sense compared to popular streaming services taking off in Europe and the United States.”

A reported 60% of Africans already listen to music from their phone everyday. And with an estimated 100 million-plus smartphones in East Africa by 2016, is set to capitalize on this market.

“Africans want their own music, their own content, stuff that’s made for them, by them,” says music artist Frasha of P-Unit and Mdundo brand ambassador. “The popularity of local content in Kenya has exploded over the past years, and as an artist myself, I’m excited about the partnership between Microsoft and Mdundo so that more fans can get music straight on their phones.”

Key to making significant inroads in emerging markets, this partnership also allows Microsoft to offer the most sought-after options available through smartphones for lower-priced and non-feature phones.

“It’s great to see this type of app being developed by Africa, for Africa,” says Mariam Abdullahi, Microsoft 4Afrika BDM for Telcos. “One of the goals of 4Afrika is to empower every African who has a great idea for a business or an application and to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large.”