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

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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, 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 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.


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