A growing music streaming service, active in 13 African countries, has signed up more than 600 artists to its networks.
Spice VAS Africa, originally founded in India 18 years ago, came to the continent in November 2009 after expanding into the far east first. It now delivers platforms for 28 networks with six million active users in Africa.
Arun Nagar, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Spice VAS Africa, said they discovered the company was perfectly placed to help launch and advertise local artists’ albums, new songs and tours on their channels.
Speaking to HumanIPO at AfricaCom 2012 in Cape Town, Nagar said: “Unlike South Africa which is the major music market on the continent, the rest of Africa does not have many organised labels. So each artist is a law to themselves.
“In hindsight it looks like a brilliant strategy, but we did it because we had no other choice.”
As well as music streaming, users can change their ringtone to popular songs, use voice chat and mobile radio.
When Spice first came to Africa they targeted the feature phone market and used SMS and IVR technologies. They are now rolling out 3G services to access smartphone users.
Regarding how Spice discover new African talent to deliver to their subscribers, Nagar said: “We do it mainly through radio play, but we do go talent scouting. We have got a talent scout in every country we operate in.”