Embracing Digital Marketing Presentation at Kenya Music Week 2009.
Earlier today I was at the Kenya Music Week (KMW) 2009 event to make a presentation titled “Embracing Digital Marketing”. This is the third year in row that I have made a presentation at the KMW and its amazing to see how much changes every year in terms of the Internet and Digital Media in general. This time last year, there was no (real) broadband in Kenya and the Internet was really really slow and expensive. We also did not have the current low(er) Internet access charges as well as an ICT Bill that is going to support the growth of local e-commerce.
Going forward, because of all these developments in 2009, and more to come in 2010, things are only going to get better for the Kenyan Music Industry where digital music is concerned. This will lead to dramatic changes in Kenya’s digital music development, marketing, distribution and monetization for all stakeholders. Already, many seem to be ready to cash in on the digital music scene in Kenya. For sometime now, Safaricom has been offering mobile music and ringtone downloads via its Safaricom Live portal. There have been other players like Cellulant, Interactive Media Services and Adtel who have also been in the mobile music and ringtone downloads space for sometime now.
Today, I also learnt of Vuma which is an online music portal dedicated to Kenyan music and operated by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya as well as Liberty Afrika. Vuma is operated as a joint venture that enables Kenyan musicians to market and sell their music online in a revenue share model. Vuma is fully e-commerce capable and currently offers the ability to buy music online using credit and debit cards. Currently, Vuma is charging an average of Kes. 60.00 per song downloaded. Vuma also has a mobile version of its web site which makes a lot of sense considering recent research shows that mobile Internet access is the fastest growing segment in Kenya.
However, at this time, Vuma does not yet offer mobile based payments using either Safaricom’s M-Pesa or Zain’s Zap mobile payments systems – this will be very key if Vuma is to have any chance of achieving critical mass in Kenya amongst over 18 million mobile subscribers. I now know of at least three online mobile payment systems in Kenya that are being operated by Verviant (PesaPal), Intrepid Data Systems (iPay) and Symbiotic Consortium that work with M-Pesa and Zap. I also understand that NairobiNet Online is working on an online mobile payment system. Vuma could easily work with any one of these providers to achieve this objective.
To download my Kenya Music Week 2009 presentation on Embracing Digital Marketing for the Kenyan Music Industry, go here>