Jay Z owned digital music platform, [TIDAL](, has entered into a partnership with one of Afrika's largest [telecommunications]( companies, MTN, in Uganda. Based on the agreement between the two companies, MTN Uganda will start offering TIDAL subscription membership as part of its mobile data bundles.
TIDAL has also stated that this partnership will be rolled out in other Afrikan countries where MTN operates and it will come with a variety of membership options where customers can tap into one, three, seven and 30-day memberships, all of which include data and a free 30-day trial for all first-time members, a set of new subscription options which up to this day have not been available to TIDAL subscribers and seem specifically targeted at users in Afrika.
![TIDAL music streaming Uganda MTN](/content/images/2018/08/TIDAL-Caption-4.jpg) Two guests have a look at the TIDAL app soon after the launch of the partnership in Kampala, Uganda.
“Afrika is a continent that has long been an inspiration for music heard around the world and TIDAL is excited to highlight the vibrant musicians on our platform. TIDAL is also thrilled to bring a new wave of digital music to Uganda as part of this collaboration” said Lior Tibon, COO at TIDAL.
Digital music streaming in Afrika
Despite what Damian Marley, an artist-owner at TIDAL, said regarding the launch of the TIDAL x MTN partnership in Afrika when he expressed his excitement by saying that "“I remember hearing stories about my father‘s records being destroyed once they got to Africa. They didn’t want the people to hear the message in the music. What a beautiful day it is now when Africa will not only have access to my family’s music but to all music that exists,” Afrikans have always, for decades now, had access to digital music platforms. The growth of digital music platforms in Afrika, both of Afrikan origin and non-Afrikan origin, can be observed in the statistics that in Nigeria in 2012 digital music purchases accounted for 49% of music sold, while in Kenya, consumer spending on digital music will overtook physical spending in 2015, and in South Africa, in 2017, digital music sales were expected to account for well over 14% of retail music sales.
The issue for music streaming platforms specifically, as opposed to digital music downloads, has been around mobile Internet costs. Especially considering that the bulk of users listen to music on their smartphones. Given this, the TIDAL x MTN partnership across Afrika makes sense for a small music streaming platform like TIDAL, as compared to Apple Music, Spotify and others, but it also raises questions of Net Neutrality and how this will affect other music streaming platforms, especially new entrants like GongBox by Black Coffee which he plans to launch soon.
"At MTN we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life. This partnership with TIDAL further demonstrates our strategic vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers by making music more available on their smartphones. One product innovation MTN will add to the TIDAL subscriptions is the inclusion of data. MTN subscribers will be given the choice between daily, weekly and monthly packages payable only via Mobile Money (MoMo)," said Olivier Prentout, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Uganda.
TIDAL x MTN (Uganda) music streaming subscriptions USSD menu.
This is definitely an interesting announcement by TIDAL and more especially that they chose Uganda as the country to first launch the service. Yes, the same Uganda that is currently taxing citizens through OTT Tax (social media tax) to access OTT platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and more.
Cover image credit: TIDAL