According to Millicom’s Executive Vice-President for Africa, Arthur Bastings, “There is a huge appetite for music in Africa and people increasingly want to choose where, when and to what they listen. So Tigo Music with Deezer gives them the freedom to enjoy the passion and emotion of their music. It is another service that contributes to the digital lifestyle and shifts mobile use further from voice to data.”
Deezer has more than sixteen million active monthly users, five million subscribers and a catalogue of over 35 million tracks. In Africa the service will also offer a large list of locally produced content. Tigo will market and distribute the service to its growing smartphone population by bundling it with mobile data packs. In the past three months alone, an additional 500,000 people took such a pack from Tigo operations in Africa.
Deezer’s launch in Africa comes after a similar partnership in Latin America where there are already over 600,000 Tigo Music subscribers with the service being the leading distributor of music in Colombia.
Last month, Millicom partnered with Africori, to fund, acquire and manage music rights through a new venture called “Africa Music Rights.
Music streaming is the fastest growing area for the global music industry and music content is already the second most popular mobile phone feature in sub-Saharan Africa. Smartphone penetration there is forecast by the GSMA to grow 30% annually in the next five years.
Cédric Diedrich, Head of Telecom Business Development at Deezer said: “We are excited to be extending our partnership with Millicom and look forward to bringing our service to Tigo Music customers in Africa. The service will use Deezer’s personalized human recommendations and smart algorithm to give customers access to our 35 million track strong library on its mobile platform.”