Senegalese Online Music Platforms Aim To Become Africa’s Spotify

By Staff Published: October 8, 2017, 6:54 am
online music platform(Photo: Elon University)

Senegalese start-ups are testing a fledgling market for online music platforms in French-speaking West Africa, where interest in digital entertainment is growing but a lack of credit cards has prevented big players from making inroads.

Long celebrated in Europe for their contribution to “world” music – with Mali’s Salif Keita, Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour and Benin’s Angelique Kidjo household names in trendy bars – West African musicians have struggled to make money back home, where poverty is widespread and music piracy rampant.

From U.S. News & World Report. Story by Nellie Peyton.

Online music providers such as Apple’s download store iTunes and streaming service Spotify are either unavailable – no one can sign up for Spotify in Africa yet – or require a credit card or bank account, which most West Africans lack.

But smartphone use is surging and entrepreneurs say there is latent demand for platforms tailored to Francophone West Africa, whose Malian “desert blues”, Ivorian “zouglou” and Senegalese “mbalax” cross African borders but are only profitable in Europe, via download and streaming services.

Read more at U.S. News & World Report.

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