MTN, the Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, says $70 million was made from distributing digital music in Africa from January to June 2016.
The feat is part of MTN’s diversification strategy. This has seen it delving into mobile money, , cloud computing, connected cars, telematics and telemedicine.
As part of its hunt for new revenue streams, MTN has been quietly conquering the digital music space,
in the six months to end-June 2016 MTN Music has generate more than R944 million ($70 million) in revenues from distributing music digitally in Africa
For MTN, this performance in the digital music space is a part of its diversification strategy to differentiate itself from competitors and to retain customers.
Asked how MTN is differentiating itself in this space, MTN Group chief digital officer, Herman Singh , said that MTN has built the capability to offer music in eight different formats to its customers: MP3 (full tracks), Streaming (music on demand), ringtones (true tones), radio streaming, IVR radio, Caller Ring Back Tones, music subscriptions and music videos. Also In addition, MTN Music offers a variety of exclusive local content.
MTN does not produce music, but earns income from music distribution through MP3, ringtones, caller ring back tones, music on demand and music subscriptions.
Singh said that Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator has built a reputation in the music space and hit $70 million in revenues for the six months to-end June 2016,
Though the man on the street might be only vaguely being familiar with MTN’s role in the music industry, it’s a company that has created a niche for itself among musicians.
In the past few years, the mobile phone firm based in the leafy suburb of Fairland in Johannesburg has grown into Africa’s biggest digital music distributor.
Singh said on average there are 50 million downloads across all our music offerings each month and MTN Music now has about 70 million customers in Africa. Added Singh
The West Africa region is the biggest region that downloads more music on MTN platform – which consists of Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea-Conakry and Guinea-Bissau.
Singh said that the upshot of MTN’s efforts in promoting digital music has been that the mobile phone operator is gaining market share in attracting music lovers on its platforms and its music download sales are improving.
MTN scooped the exclusive rights to caller back ring tone or caller tune to Adele’s single title ‘Hello.’ In 2015
The deal was accomplished through MTN’s content aggregator, Content Connect Africa.
Adele’s song Hello remains the biggest download ever recorded for MTN Music at 24 million.
But Singh said that MTN Music platform users are downloading more local music as compared to international songs.
The Digital technology is enabling music industry to effectively reach mass numbers of consumers across Africa, and MTN with its biggest footprint in Africa is an ideal company to distribute the music.
MTN seems to be willing to stick around and is not treating digital music as a one-night stand, With more than 70 million MTN Music customers and $70 million in revenues