From Bizcommunity. Story by AFP.
Famous musicians such as Youssou Ndour and Baaba Maal are among almost 200 who have signed agreements with “MusikBi,” along with younger rappers, jazz artists and Christian and Muslim vocalists.
The platform draws its name from the word for music in Wolof, the language widely spoken in Senegal and neighboring Gambia, said project developer Moustapha Diop at the launch in Dakar.
Songs cost $0.50 to $0.85 US and users can download them using mobile phone credit in a region where few have bank cards.
“It is the first platform of its kind enabling music downloads by text or PayPal,” according to a statement released by Diop’s company, Solid.
Many African music artists “cannot live comfortably by the proceeds of their work,” according to Solid. The platform offers a chance for “promotion and to allow them to make a living from their art.”
Piracy and changing consumer habits have seen record sales drop across the continent, with illegal downloads tempting African consumers looking online for music while copyright enforcement remains relatively weak.
Artists keep 60 percent of their income from the service, while MusikBi takes the remaining 40 percent.
MusikBi does not offer a streaming service as local Internet speeds are prohibitive for the format, especially in a mobile-driven market.
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