Kenyan mobile music service Mdundo has teamed up with Microsoft to provide users of the Huawei 4Afrika phone with a premium account, allowing them to download Kenyan music for free for six weeks.
This means users of the phone can access more than 2,000 songs directly through an app that comes with the device – a benefit that means internet usage will be minimised and save on costs of obtaining the music.
Gustav Ericsson, Mdundo Music chief executive officer (CEO), said the app will prove more economical than regular internet downloads.
“Internet prices are still relatively high in comparison to living costs in Africa. A download service versus a streaming service, per say, makes more sense compared to popular streaming services taking off in Europe and the United States,” he said.
Mdundo, which capitalises on the reliance on mobile as an entertainment gadget in Africa, believes such services are bound to prove profitable with estimates indicating that East Africa will have an estimated 100 million smartphones in the next four years.
According to Microsoft business development manager for Microsoft 4 Africa, Miriam Abdullahi, the app will provide an avenue for them to distribute their music.
“It’s great to see this type of app being developed by Africa, for Africa. One of the goals of 4Afrika is to empower every African who has a great idea for a business or an application and to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help their community, their country, or even the continent at large,” she said.
Brand ambassador and musician Frasha said the deal was timely, believing the app will help musicians and their fans interact more easily.
“Africans want their own music, their own content, stuff that’s made for them, by them. The popularity of local content in Kenya has exploded over the past years, and as an artist myself, I’m excited about the partnership between Microsoft and Mdundo so that more fans can get music straight on their phones,” said Frasha.
Following the deal, Microsoft said it will be able to provide sought after options by customers through smartphones that are affordable.