Music to the ears - African online mobile music platforms break out all over the
- The largest of the current online platforms (both on mobile and PC) is iROKING (which is part of iROKO Partners) that also runs a Nollywood film platform in parallel. It received investment from US private equity fund Tiger Global and has been expanding its reach and recently opened a South African office.
To date, iROKING free music online platform has 35,000 tracks in its catalogue dating from 1963 to the present day and 75,000 registered users in total. It also manages over 70 artist's Youtube pages with more than 100 million views in the past 12 months. Its deal structure is 60/40 in favour of rights owners, the complete reverse of what the mobile companies are currently offering.
Its CEO Michael Ugwu is looking to grow that number to 1 million by the end of this year and to reach 10 million in five years time. Of that number, 70% would be outside Africa. It already has around 1 million uniques for its free Nollywood service iROKOtv.
It monetises and protects artists' content for among others: P-Square, 2face, Bracket, Flavour, Omawumi, Timaya, Duncan Mighty, Lynxxx. The company has significantly reduced piracy of Nigerian music content to near zero.. iROKING also audio ID's digitally fingerprint sound recordings on Youtube to ensure rights are protected and also publishes Nigerian music content to the iTUNES/ Amazon stores for diaspora consumption (paid downloads etc).