Telecom company makes $70 million in revenue from digital music distribution

MTN's group chief digital officer says MTN has built the capability to offer music to its customers in eight different formats.

A worker walks past an outlet of South Africa's MTN Group in Johannesburg, South Africa, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Media reports coming out of South Africa reveal that MTN says it has made $70 million in digital music distribution in Africa between January to June 2016.

According to a report by Techfinancials, a South African media platform, this is part of MTN's diversification strategy. Other aspects of that diversification include mobile money, telematics, cloud computing, connected cars and even telemedicine.

Speaking to Techfinancials, Herman Singh, MTN's group chief digital officer says MTN has built the capability to offer music to its customers in eight different formats: MP3, ringtones, caller ring back tones, streaming, radio streaming, IVR Radio, music subscriptions and music videos. MTN also offers access to a variety of local content.

All of that and more have made MTN into Africa's biggest music distributor leading to the $70 million generated in revenue from just digital music distribution.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek reports that the regions with the most downloads include Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana and other West African countries.

One advantage of MTN's digital music distribution business is that it plays a role in helping the telecom company gain much needed market share in all of its markets as local competition continues to grow and regulatory hurdles persist.

With more than 60 million consumers and $70 million in revenue, MTN looks like it is going to be taking its digital music distribution seriously.

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