Broadcast Reports

Music: Digital Music platforms in Africa (November 2014)

Document type: Report
Availability: Available
Publication date: 30 November 2014
Number of pages: 110 + excel tables

Price: £890.00

Digital Music in Africa

A review of Digital Music platforms in Africa

Strategies for the future

Format: electronic only - PDF and excel

Price: GBP 890 + VAT

Report's Key data:

This report seizes a growing content segment for mobile services and pay TV distribution channels. It includes:

Published in November 2014, "Digital Music in Africa - A review of Digital Music platforms in Africa; Strategies for the future" provides essential data and analysis for musicians, labels, telcos, and Digital Music platforms focused on Africa. The 110 pages report provides an overview of developments since the start of the emergence of digital music, strategies, partnership and related business models, and a directory of industry contacts for Digital Music platforms dedicated to Africa. It profiles a selection of 50e-music platforms (portals, applications) focused on Africa.

The report took two months to build and required interviews with over 50 industry professionals by 4 analysts.

Table of Contents


Executive Summary


1. Objectives, research scope, and methodology
2. Definitions – Digital music platforms
2.1. Music Platforms’ objectives
2.2. Features and benefits of music platform services
2.3. Business models
2.4. Short history of the emergence of digital music (Global, Africa)
2.5. Current state of the music market (physical vs. virtual)
3. Basic guide to Music Platforms: strategies and best practices
3.1 Target customers
3.2 Geographic expansion, African target markets
3.3 Partnerships
3.4 Technology
3.5 Marketing-communication
4. Drivers and SWOT analysis
   4.1. Opportunities: key drivers to build and use music platforms in Africa
4.1.1 For telecoms operators and IT companies
4.1.2 For consumers
4.1.3 For governments
4.1.4 For musicians and labels
4.1.5 For pay TV operators
4.1.6 For musicians and labels
4.1.6 For banks and e-payment companies
   4.2. Barriers and challenges to deploying African music platforms
4.2.1 A limited potential market for paid music services
4.2.2 Rights collection
4.2.3 Music piracy
4.2.4 Bandwidth access

SWOT analysis

5. Digital music platforms in Africa
5.1 Overview and competition
5.2 Global platforms present in Africa - profile
5.3 Africa dedicated platforms - profiles



About the authors

Balancing Act

Tables, Charts and Maps

Main report:

Table 1 - Key features and benefits of digital music platform services for consumers
Table 2 - Consumer Business models: paid, free, hybrid
Chart 1 - Monetization model of the music industry (USD)
Table 3 - Streaming/download - Pricing subscription for e-music services – selection
Table 4 – Pricing comparison with VoD platforms
Box 1 – YouTube, a leader in music distribution
Table 5 – A short history of the emergence of African digital music platforms
Chart 2 - Global revenue of music industry (Bn. USD)
Chart 3 - Global revenue of the digital music industry (Bn. USD)
Chart 4 - Global revenue of streaming services over time (Bn USD)
Chart 5 - Digital music consumption changes by country (share of revenues)
Chart 6 - Digital vs. physical: Global revenue of music industry (%)
Chart 7 - Revenue of music industry by market (M. USD)
Table 6 - Potential revenue streams and business partnerships for music platforms
Table 7 - Key potential partners for e-music platforms related to Africa:
Table 8 - Benefits for music artists to use the web / digital music platforms
Table 9 - Telcos-music platforms’ partnerships: 15 examples in Africa
Table 10 - Key drivers to using digital music platforms for Africa
Table 11 – Digital terminals ownership levels in Ghana, Northern Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.
Table 12 - How many respondents used music on their mobile phone and the degree of usage frequency in 4 African countries
Table 13 - Level of expectations among mobile phone users in 4 African countries
Table 14 - Main barriers and threats to effective roll-out of digital music platforms in Africa
Map 1 - African Undersea Cables – Nov. 2012.
Chart 8 - Impact of lower international connectivity prices in Africa -2007 to 2013.
Chart 9 - Fibre capacity (2013) and monthly broadband prices in Africa (2011)
Chart 10 and Map 2 – YouTube presence in Africa, Oct. 2014.
Table 15 – African e-music platforms – user ratings on app stores and number of Facebook likes
Table 16 - Total number of music platforms with an African presence by country of origin

15 Profiles for major e-music platforms in Africa

Separate Excel tables

Executive Summary

Every day, Balancing Act’s team of analysts and journalists aggregates and generates unbiased and in-depth data analysis, interviews and articles from the African telecoms, entertainment and media industry segments.

Our analysis of consumer spending data shows that African consumer demand for entertainment and media content continues to grow. In fact, given the shift towards digital media, expanding access to broadband Internet and explosive acquisition of digital devices, we expect the demand for digital music to grow considerably over the years to come.

Over the past 10 years, digital technology has disrupted the balance of music rights because digital data can be copied easily and swiftly distributed to a wide audience. A pessimist told us “ever heard of Napster? or the many streaming services that pirated music with no proceeds going to the artists…Apple didn't save the music industry, they’ve finished destroying it. The consequence is that today, most of what is being released is junk.”

While music managers saw the tough impact of digital technology on their business, some of them recognized that this digital transformation could have a positive impact. Today, registered artists do receive revenue and minimal royalties from platforms like iTunes. Most importantly, artists have the choice of getting new revenues sources: They can use a label or go direct to consumers using social networks and digital music platforms such as YouTube. And having that choice also gives the artist a lot more power and some more leverage.

Due to limited investment by international labels and the high rate of piracy that crippled legitimate distribution, Africa has not experienced the same devastating decline of analogue music and stands to benefit the rise of the digital music cloud happening the same way it takes place globally.

Today, African e-music platforms compete with large global e-music platforms but they create value when they source African content not carried by the international platforms, particularly when they break new talent.

In Africa and on other continents, telecoms service providers are rolling out Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks that allow internet access and data services to mass consumers. The fact that Africa has the fastest growing mobile market globally is ideal for the anticipated rise in entertainment and ‘infotainment’. Despite some challenges, including low revenues per customer, high levels of churn and 96% of the population on prepaid tariff plans, service providers in this market are positive about the rate of growth and interest. Local content boosts usage growth, and music is one of the first types of content that citizens are looking for.

Balancing Act has identified over 100 African e-music platforms (excluding web-radios and ring back tone providers), selected 50 of them and realised that most of them are at start up stage, needing further investments, developments, market visibility and partnerships.

It is through partnerships, differentiation and innovation that those organisations can create the shift in mindset necessary to win in the digital music game.

For African content owners, creators and local media businesses the question of where will you be positioned in this new market is raised as international competitors enter the market? For telecoms operators the question is how should you position these new services, and how do you approach this rapidly changing landscape? The continent is “rich with opportunity” for operators to lock in customer loyalty and market share using music solutions. 

Who should read this report?

E-music platform owners, telecoms operators present in Africa, digital device vendors (smartphones, tablets, PCs, smart TV sets), musicians, labels, IT/CDN/CMS, SEO service suppliers, investors, business angels, venture capitalists, private equity players, African governments, Ministries of Communications, development agencies, consultants, events' organisers, African broadcast and communication regulators, audiovisual content distributors and aggregators, large audiovisual media, music content producers and distributors, app developers, Pay TV networks, mobile services' players, satellite carriers.

Why should you read this report?

The report will save research time and cut costs and is essential reading for anyone involved, or planning to engage in the African OTT/e-music sector. Executives trying to identify who/where the existing and upcoming e-music players are in Africa will find the answer in this piece of research. The report is part of standard market intelligence for e-music, telecoms and digital terminal professionals active in African regions.

Read this report and cut costs/time while trying to:

Payment options: Purchase the report online securely with a valid credit card (you will get an automatic receipt sent via email), or via bank transfer (we will issue an invoice).

Note: This report can be updated and customised upon request for additional fees to cover research costs.


Main authors: Sylvain Béletre | Russell Southwood.

Price: £890.00

Please note that you will be able to choose the currency you want to pay in when you reach the payment stage. The total amount of your order will be automatically recalculated in the currency that you have selected.