Telecommunications and media company, Millicom is set to launch its Tigo Music brand in Africa by the last quarter of this year, starting with Ghana.

The Tigo Music service, which will be part of its customer’s pre-paid data plans will offer unlimited music streaming with instant access to a library of more than 30 million songs.

Originally launched in 2013, Tigo music is already quite popular in Latin America where it currently has about 600,000 subscribers. It is currently the largest source of digital revenues for the music industry in Colombia.

Millicom plans to replicate this success in Africa where it operates primarily under the Tigo brand across in 14 African markets.

The telecom company is specifically targeting South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and six of its other markets.

In Africa, Millicom will work with Africori, Africa’s leading digital music companies, to fund, acquire and manage music rights through Africa Music Rights (AMR) which will invest in rights directly from artists, writers, micro-labels and others.

Africori is a major investor in Coolspot, one of South Africa’s leading independent labels which has a catalogue of over 11,000 songs spanning more than 70 gold and platinum releases from high-profile South African legacy artists like Oleseng and Sammy Malete.

“With the sheer wealth of music emerging from Africa, supported by the timely market growth of digital sales, right now Africa is undeniably the most exciting region for the music business globally,” Africori’s CEO, Yoel Kenan said.

The market for digital entertainment services is fast evolving in sub-Saharan Africa with music as the second most popular feature on mobile phones. Half of smartphone users and one third of feature phone users listen to music on the go every day.

“Tigo Music gives us a first-mover advantage, reinforces our strategic shift from voice to data and extends the digital lifestyle. AMR complements this by exploiting the huge opportunity to serve the rising demand for digital music across the continent. Together they make Millicom a music powerhouse for Africa,” Millicom’s CEO and President, Hans-Holger Albrecht said.

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