Tidal is notorious for stretching their numbers — but this looks like a solid expansion into Africa.
Tidal is looking to expand its music streaming service into emerging markets with a new service partnership in Uganda. The deal involves Africa’s largest telecom network, MTN.
The deal is part of Tidal’s ambitious initiative to bring service to more than 200 million subscribers across Africa.
MTN’s Ugandan subscribers will now have access to Tidal as part of their mobile subscription, with streaming data included in the deal. This new deal with MTN marks Tidal’s expansion into a second African country, as the service launched in South Africa in 2015.
With South Africa and Uganda now firmly under its belt, Tidal will begin seeking expansion of availability into other African countries served by MTN. Ugandan MTN customers will receive a free 30-day trial of Tidal to celebrate the deal, and the option to purchase one, three, seven, and 30-day subscription passes.
To help celebrate the launch of Tidal’s availability in Uganda, Tidal and MTN will host a Collaboration Conference starting September 27th. The aim is to educate local artists about the streaming service. The companion concert will feature special performers like Kranium, Beenie Gunter, and DJ Spinall.
Tidal has long been struggling in major markets, so it’s no surprise that the company is branching out into emerging markets to obtain more market share.
Streaming giants like Apple, Spotify, and Pandora make it tough to succeed in already established markets like the United States and Europe, though it’s unclear if the streaming economics work in areas like Africa.
Tidal features a catalog of 48.5 million songs and is available in more than 52 countries worldwide as the first artist-owned streaming service in the world. The US-based telecom Sprint owns a 33% stake in Tidal, offering streaming music service exclusively to its customers.
Several hip-hop artists like Lil’ Wayne, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Rihanna have released exclusive tracks through the service, though its unclear if Tidal will continue executing high-profile artist exclusives going forward.