12 December 2019 | 2 minutes

Technology is the ultimate disruptor.

It has made an impact on everything we do and everything we interact with. This includes the way we consume content. Music, movies, games and stories broke out of their physical constraints and into the digital world as soon as the right tools became available. Today, there is so much content available for consumption that it would be impossible for an individual to get through all of it. To put the volume into perspective, consider that 400 hours of video is published on YouTube every minute.

Content creators have more platforms available to showcase their work than the world has ever seen. Artists have a better chance of reaching the right audience than ever before, and even a niche audience can be made of millions in a digital world. In Africa, people are just as likely to stream local content as they are to stream whatever is trending worldwide. A band from Nigeria is just as likely to sell out a show in their own country as a visiting Grammy winner is. People in Africa love streaming African content. So much so, that millions of people have subscribed to MTN’s various rich media services, including music streaming services.

Artists have a better chance of reaching the right audience than ever before.

In 2019, the International Telecommunications Union posed the question of how to bring meaningful connectivity to all the world’s citizens. This includes local content in local languages. Rich media services are doing just that by enabling anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection to watch or listen to exactly what they want, whenever they want.

So much music is featured on the global streaming giants, that content which isn’t coming from the US can quickly become lost in the mix. Those who understand the power of African music are therefore investing in bringing local content to the mobile phones of African listeners via various music streaming services.

In South Africa and Nigeria, fans are finding their favourite artists on an app called MusicTime. The website from which to download the app features local artists first, so users immediately know they’re going to find local music easily.

Now that more African artists are being showcased on local and international digital platforms, talent from the continent can be more easily accessed by fans on the continent. This kind of disruption also brings African talent closer to the rest of the world.

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