Tuned Global Boosts African Music Market Growth Via New Partnerships20 November 2023 - Press release
In the structurally challenging but rapidly maturing markets of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, a fresh crop of new music products and startups are emerging, offering bold challenges to global players and established streamers in the region. They are meeting local challenges head on, exploring new business models, customer services, and approaches to curation.
Leading B2B music services provider Tuned Global is forging several new partnerships with these intrepid innovators, supporting local efforts to create innovative streaming services made for the market, from startups, all the way to telcos. Most recently, the international B2B music services company has started working with Nigerian music streaming app Jumamo to expedite its launch plans. Tuned Global has also expanded their partnership with Ethiopian music and podcast streamer Sewasew by adding the Universal Music Group catalog to the service and by also supporting the launch of their religious streaming service. These two new services join already up-and-running Tuned Global partners like Tieme Music (Ghana) and WAW Musik (Côte d’Ivoire).
“The energy and innovation in African markets are inspiring, and we’ve found that our partners there are looking for new ways to engage listeners, highlight local artists, and solve complex technical problems,” says Con Raso, Tuned Global’s Managing Director. “Every market and country are unique, and streaming services are embracing this, taking international and regional heavyweights on. They turn to us to help make sure their ideas come to market fully formed and highly functional.”
Sub-Saharan Africa was the world’s fastest-growing music market in 2022 (IFPI), with North Africa (as part of MENA) not far behind. Streaming music services are a significant part of this growth, bringing in $17.5bn, or 67% of total global recorded music revenues. Many of these streaming services are local heroes, deeply familiar with listeners’ needs and tastes.
These local services face significant headwinds. Payment and billing can be a challenge in some markets where customers may be unbanked. Connectivity and bandwidth can hamper seamless streaming experiences. Cultural and music tastes can vary widely even within the same country or region.
Telcos often lead the way when it comes to launching music services, but the region is seeing an increasing number of startups willing to take on international players. (VC investment in all African startups, for example, totalled more than $4.8bn in 2022.) To create successful projects, African telcos and music services have turned to Tuned Global as a trusted partner to provide the apps, the APIs, and back-end technology to power their services.
From appropriate recommendations to flexible payment infrastructure and commercial models, African streaming services need a wide variety of options and approaches to create compelling music products. Mainstream international players are sometimes ill equipped to manage local challenges and serve local needs. Tuned Global helps its African customers solve these challenges, offering white-label turnkey apps, APIs, and content services that can be adapted to local conditions.
“We’ve seen customers use everything from daily payments and vouchers to bundles in order to make the most of existing payment practices, while improving performance and surfacing the right music, key differentiators in a market that’s maturing rapidly,” explains Raso. “African music fans expect the same level of responsiveness and experience as listeners do in other regions, and we’re providing the technology, content, and advice to let services achieve that.”
Jumamo is a brand-new Nigerian music streaming service with a focus on local repertoire and uplifting local artists. The company has launched the first dedicated online radio platform that will pay African artists for their streams and playlist curators for the streams of their curations.
“At Jumamo, we’ve worked to create a music experience that really focuses on the music and artists important to Nigerian and African music lovers, while ensuring our app works perfectly for our customers,” notes Chinedu Chukwuji, Director of Jumamo. “We’re gearing up for our launch, a day that’s come far more quickly than anticipated thanks to Tuned Global, who have helped us get the right content to music fans in a smooth and seamless way.”
Launched in October 2022, Sewasew Multimedia streaming platform has gained popularity in Ethiopia and abroad for its exclusive content. With the mission to reinvent the creative industry of Ethiopia, Sewasew has directly signed over 100 Artists, it has an agreement with Ethio telecom to bring Ethiopian music to masses and now has announced a deal with Universal Music group. They have also used Tuned Global to launch their religious streaming service Betemezmur.
“We are thrilled to partner with Tuned Global and Universal Music Group to bring their extensive catalogue of music to the Ethiopian market via a service that leads the market in experience and content,” said Abraham F., Managing Director, Sewasew Multimedia. “Our work together is a testament to Ethiopia’s growing importance in the global music industry, and we look forward to strengthening and expanding Ethiopia’s music market with the support of international partners like Tuned Global and Universal Music Group.”
Tieme Music is a digital streaming service launched in 2022 by a Ghanaian startup founded by Paris-based music producer Franck Osei-Mensah. Complemented by distribution and label services, Tieme Music aims to empower Ghanaian artists and amplify their voices on a global scale. The company is committed to showcasing the rich cultural heritage and diverse music genres of Ghana while fostering collaboration and growth in the industry.
"Tuned Global has been an invaluable partner for more than a year. They enabled us to swiftly enter the Ghanaian market with a highly professional offering, right from day one. Additionally, they played a crucial role in our innovative approach to catering to our target demographic. Through an extensive survey, we uncovered that Ghanaian users primarily opt for YouTube because it’s free. The offline feature also emerged as a top priority for them when it comes to music streaming services. Thinking outside the box, we introduced a system where users could earn offline minutes by watching ads. Although this may seem straightforward, its implementation required Tuned Global's technological expertise. It marked a distinctive approach in this market, especially when coupled with our extensive Ghanaian music catalog," explains Charlène Osei, Country Manager for Ghana at Tieme Music.