Antos Stella, Managing Director of Content Connect Africa talks to VAS Africa about the digital music industry and how new online distribution channels are supporting African artists reach an international audience.
Antos will be taking part in a panel discussion on 30th June 2015, Day One of VAS Africa, at 14:50 – How are smart phones and low cost tablets changing consumption and distribution of digital entertainment services? For more information, download the agenda
VAS Africa: What is the future of digital services in Africa and what do you think are the top 3 major trends affecting your business in the region?
Antos Stella: CCA’s core business is content and primarily music and music videos. We have seen the demand for content increase right across the continent with the following major trends:
- Artists moving towards a business hub that can take their music beyond the borders of origin.
- RBT’s continue to be the number one revenue spinner for music, but the introduction of streaming services that are specific to the continent and affordable will be the next major trend.
- Using live platforms to attract a consumer base and push revenues up on the platforms.
VAS: Are new online distribution channels providing an opportunity to expand the reach of African artists to international audiences?
AS: I think that the obvious distribution channels like iTunes have given artists from the continent an opportunity to reach international audiences. However, I think that there needs to be more focus around the marketing of African content to the international audiences before we see a great impact on revenue. I am still not convinced, given the minuscule sales figures, that streaming will be the ground breaker for our artists and musicians globally. Artists from our continent tour the globe tirelessly performing in front of audiences but there is never any focus from the aforesaid or any platforms to push audiences to buy, as they do with international artists.
VAS: Do you feel that mobile is definitely the future of content distribution, not just music but all forms of content ?
AS: I definitely do believe, given the subscriber base of mobile users, that music and all other forms of content can reach a huge market. We have not even begun to tap into the market.
VAS: Are there infrastructure concerns and issues surrounding internet speeds and data costs that are hampering the growth of online music in Africa ?
AS: I think that speed and data costs are effecting the push to full tracks and VOD services, as the market still remains 80% RBTs. Once we can fix these – the opportunities are endless.
VAS: Any particular current or recent projects/success stories that you want to share?
The introduction of a new RBT platform by MTN SA and a focused music team has grown the RBT market in SA by over 280% – providing much needed revenue for local artists in South Africa.
VAS: What will be your message at the event?
AS: CCA’s business is music, we work with our partners (artists / composers) all over the continent to try and provide new revenue streams. The power of the subscriber base within the network environment is an opportunity to reach an audience who still has music and soccer as their top favourite pastimes and make money whilst reaching millions of fans. In a nutshell its about taking your music directly to your fan base.
VAS Africa will be taking place 30th June - 1st July 2015 - for more information and to register, visit the website: www.comworldseries.com/vasafrica