Online music services key to market reach


A person listening to music. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Our socio-cultural lifestyles come alive when music is played and sung to mark the climax of most family, political, sporting or religious occasions.

This ‘love’ for music coupled with the embedding of mobile phones in our daily lives has seen Kenyans curate their individual music playlists, thanks to online music services.

Music consumers can now use their phones, feature or smart, to listen to their choice of music defying music trends market forecast that asserted that only affluent Kenyans enjoy streaming music.

South Korea’s K-Pop with Gangnam Style swept the world off its feet with their tunes followed by Reggaeton (from Latin America) and Africa’s moment of glory is here with music lovers keeping tabs for the latest Afrobeats hits.

It is the fastest growing genre! The world is transiting from Western-centred music consumption to a global village and local audiences are demanding local music with local languages and local stories.

To this end, mobile phones have enabled everyone to listen to music on the go and this has become an identity symbol with local music artistes availing their music as ringtones that is accessed via payment of a nominal fee.

While mobile telephones appeared to favour the middle- and upper-class families, advertising opportunities on online music streaming services by corporates has opened a new avenue for more Kenyans to access music cheaply.

With the realities of Covid-19, making music available via live streaming of concerts and local music playlists has attracted a global audience.

In the last three years Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido have been selling out concerts in London and Paris and our own Sauti Sol has completed two Europe Tours.

Free and legal music

This democratisation of the music industry in my opinion will see 10-20 per cent of the global music charts comprise of African music in the next 10 years.

For example, Mdundo has been able to provide free and legal music to over 20.3 million active users, thanks to advertisers such as Kenya Breweries, SportPesa, Guinness Nigeria, Serengeti Breweries and Airtel.

It is, therefore, imperative for corporates keen on reaching the mass market to consider advertising on music streaming services where they can reach their customers on-the-go.

What remains evident is that increased mobile telephone reach, internet connectivity coupled with falling accessibility prices means more Kenyans will fulfil their appetite for individualised music taste and with phone ownership rising opens a ready market for online music streaming services.

With the political campaign fever about to cool down, businesses should relook at how to reach their audiences with the least cost per eyeball ahead of the December festive season.

Ms Karanu is Head of Brand Partnerships-Africa at Mdundo. [email protected].