Tidal, music mogul Jay Z’s music and video streaming platform, has launched in its second African country, in partnership with the mobile and fixed telecommunications firm MTN. First launching in South Africa on its own, Tidal has now been in Uganda since 22 August 2018. Through this partnership, the streaming service will have access to 10.5 million Ugandan MTN subscribers who will receive a variety of options for a data-inclusive Tidal membership as part of their mobile plan. In this way subscribers will gain access to the exclusive, high-quality streaming of music, videos, concerts and more available on the platform.
Both Uganda and Nigeria have a large population of young people, making them ideal countries for Tidal. Approximately 78% of Uganda’s population is below the age of 30, with Nigeria slightly higher at approximately 83%.
MTN’s chief marketing officer, Olivier Prentout, said in a statement: “Uganda offers an opportunity to not only provide this exclusive entertainment content to a youthful population, in partnership with MTN Uganda, but also builds a long-term approach to improving opportunities for its young and talented artists.”
The streaming service is following in the footsteps of Spotify and Apple music, who both launched in Africa before Tidal. On the African continent there is a growing focus on the music industry, with these major labels increasing their efforts, sensing an opportunity for growth and looking to adapt to the particular needs and tendencies of this markets. These shared interests are evident in the organisations’ sentiments as disclosed by their top management.
Michael Krause, Spotify MD of Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Forbes, “Africa is the home continent of music historically. Africa is exciting for us and we want to be in more countries – but we have to look at which.” Part of the process includes curating local music and playlists. “We want locally relevant stuff, so that people feel at home. Just launching an international product is not something that we want to do.”
Almost as if reading from the same page, chief operations officer of Tidal, Lior Tibon, said in a press statement: “Africa is a continent that has long been an inspiration for music heard around the world and Tidal is excited to highlight the vibrant musicians on our platform. Tidal is also thrilled to bring a new wave of digital music to Uganda as part of this collaboration.”
To support its intention to host local music, Tidal will hold a Collaboration Conference. Here it will educate local artists on the streaming service and how to collaborate on projects moving forward.
Jason Kpana, who heads Artist and Label Relations at Tidal, said, “I’m really looking forward to connecting with Uganda’s musicians and helping to bring the Tidal music streaming experience to fans across the country. We know MTN customers will love the diverse playlists, livestreams, videos and original content available on Tidal.”