• Mobilising African music: how mobile telecommunications and technology firms are transforming African music sectors

    Author(s):
    Christiaan De Beukelaer, Andrew Eisenberg (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Ethnomusicology
    Subject(s):
    African studies, Media studies, Economic ethnomusicology, Music
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Kenya, Ghana, mobile technologies, music industry
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/cvsp-r695
    Abstract:
    This paper explores the role of mobile telecommunication and technology firms (MTTs) in the distribution of recorded music in Ghana and Kenya. These countries both have vibrant music markets with weak formal distribution networks. Limited enforcement of copyright regimes and weak market regulation created new entrepreneurial business models. While ‘big tech’ dominates this space elsewhere, in African contexts the main players are mobile service providers (e.g. MTN, Vodafone, Tigo) and digital content firms (e.g. Liberty Afrika, MTech, Cellulant). These transnational players cater to fast-growing consumer markets that do not have easy access to major music distribution platforms such as iTunes and Spotify (which tend to provide very limited access to ‘local’ content, in any case). Despite their particular and increasingly significant roles, very little empirical attention has been paid to the activities of mobile telecommunication and technology firms (MTTs) in music sectors. This paper takes stock of why and how MTTs have entered into the business of recorded music distribution in Ghana and Kenya, and assesses the ramifications of their entry for the music sectors in these and other African countries as part of broader global shifts in the production, distribution and marketing of recorded music.
    Notes:
    Published online 26 Nov. 2018
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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