Mdundo, a music distribution service that was launched back in 2013 with the aim of providing music lovers with easily accessible and affordable music and as well kill illegal piracy of music in Africa, has just passed the 8 million users mark.
The service which serves customers from the East Africa region, has a catalog of over 40,000 songs from African musicians.
The company has over 1.5 million monthly users and has served 18 Million downloads in the past 6 months alone. According to Mdundo, Hip Hop and Gospel genres remain to be the most popular genres over the past few years.
Wanjiku Koinange, Mdundo Head of Music & Operations, said, “We’ve seen artists such as Khaligraph Jones, King Kaka, The Kansoul and Darassa top the Hip Hop charts. Gospel artists have also not been left behind and currently, the top Mdundo Gospel musicians include Willy Paul, Mercy Masika, Collo and the duo Kymo and Stigah.”
Since Mdundo launched it music streaming service to compliment the download service it had been running, the company has seen over 30 million streams in 2017 alone, with more than 70% of the downloads coming from their web platform. Maybe these kind of numbers is what is compelling Safaricom to launch its own music streaming service.
Mdundo offers both a free version and a premium version of the service. With the free account, one can download songs but will be served an ad at the beginning of every song. The premium account of the other hand goes for Ksh.199 per month and has no ads whatsoever.
We spoke to the company to find out how they share the revenue with the artists and they informed us that Mdundo pays 50% of its total revenue to the artists, every six months i.e. in July and January. The 50% is split between artists according to the individual artists’ share of downloads, thus the more downloads an artist has, the more they earn.
Music streaming services have been on the rise recently, with more and more Kenyans open to streaming music as opposed to downloading pirated versions off the internet. The only hurdle to music streaming has been data prices, maybe one day the internet gods will have mercy on us and cut us some slack.