Millicom partners Deezer to bring Tigo Music to 5 African markets

By Tom Jackson, South Africa

Telecoms and media firm Millicom has announced an extension of its partnership with music streaming service Deezer to take its Tigo Music service to five markets in Africa.

With Deezer, Tigo Music will soon launch in Ghana, followed by further rollouts in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania in the coming months.

Millicom confirmed last month it would launch Tigo Music in Africa by the last quarter of this year, with the service already experiencing some success in Latin America, where it has approximately 600,000 subscribers. The company said it was targeting South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya as well as six other markets.

The company has already agreed a partnership with Africori to fund, acquire and manage music rights through Africa Music Rights (AMR), and has now signed a deal with Deezer, which has more than 16 million active monthly users, five million subscribers and a catalogue of over 35 million tracks.

In Africa, Deezer will also offer a large list of locally produced content, which Tigo will market and distribute to its smartphone users by bundling with mobile data packs.

“There is a huge appetite for music in Africa and people increasingly want to choose where, when and to what they listen. So Tigo Music with Deezer gives them the freedom to enjoy the passion and emotion of their music. It is another service that contributes to the digital lifestyle and shifts mobile use further from voice to data,” said Millicom executive vice-president for Africa Arthur Bastings.

Cédric Diedrich, head of telecom business development at Deezer, said: “We are excited to be extending our partnership with Millicom and look forward to bringing our service to Tigo Music customers in Africa. The service will use Deezer’s personalised human recommendations and smart algorithm to give customers access to our 35 million track strong library on its mobile platform.”

Paris-based Deezer was last month reportedly in discussions with South African operator Vodacom over an exclusivity deal.

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