ABC is an integrated creative and marketing agency specializing in brand building and management.
We make African brands stronger through innovative platforms and iconic campaigns that connect our clients to their chosen audience.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see how the phenomenon of mobile banking in Africa and the rapid growth of telecoms companies like MTN ever happened. We are now well acquainted with how quickly Africans have adopted mobile technology to fulfill a multitude of daily needs, from paying utility bills to lending money. Predicting the next big business trend in Africa, however, is an entirely different matter.
Online retail has the potential to bridge the gap between the rapid acceleration of mobile and digital technologies and a rising African middle class.
E-commerce is seen as another powerful economic force, and for good reasons. Online retail has the potential to bridge the gap between the rapid acceleration of mobile and digital technologies and a rising African middle class. Online classified services similar to Craigslist are sweeping the continent and different types of crowdsourcing are under experimentation. The success of online shopping sites like Jumia points to the presence of a veritable consumer culture in Nigeria. But the recent cutbacks announced by Nestlé sub-Saharan Africa, indicate that the African middle class may be narrower than we think.
Which makes the recent emergence of a Nigerian music download platform called MyMusic.com.ng all the more intriguing. Co-founded by three Nigerian entrepreneurs, MyMusic.com.ng is the regional equivalent of iTunes, combining a collection of Naija pop sensations like Davido and Wizkid with legendary acts like the trumpeter Victor Olaiya. Content can be purchased by credit card, mobile payments or PayPal and like iTunes, the artists are remunerated for each music download. Until June 21, single tracks are being offered for free, which seems like a generous opportunity to show how accessible, fast and easy it is to use the site. We were able, for instance, to download an mp3 of Bright Chimezie’s Do We Obi Gi Ocha in less than 15 seconds.
For all its novelty and accessibility, MyMusic.com.ng is hindered by one significant handicap: a shortage of content. The collections of just 13 artists are on offer and the founders of the site have admitted they underestimated the effort required to acquire content. In an interview featured on How We Made It In Africa this week, co-founder Dolapo Taiwo said that if given $1 million, the company would invest immediately in acquiring more content and “our robust marketing plan” to expand to places like Ghana and Kenya. It was a thorny reminder that start-ups don’t just succeed on brains and hard work. They need real investment capital too.