News / Africa

iTunes Africa Launch Promises Change in Music Market

A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service, in New York, January 2012. (file photo)A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service, in New York, January 2012. (file photo)
x
A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service, in New York, January 2012. (file photo)
A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service, in New York, January 2012. (file photo)
This month, Apple announced the launch of their iTunes music store in 56 countries, including 14 on the African continent. The launch means easier purchases for consumers, and a whole new brand of competition for existing music stores.

iTunes is an online store that allows computer users to purchase and download music and videos online. While it offers a new option for consumers in the music marketplace, iTunes is likely going to turn down the volume at Africa's brick-and-mortar music retail stores.

On a typical weekday morning, shoppers flipped through the CD section at the Musica Megastore in Sandton City, an upscale mall north in Johannesburg.

A mother and her daughter left the store after buying a few DVDs. But 17-year-old Sarah said she was an immediate fan of the iTunes launch.

"I started buying music on iTunes now that it opened. I've already bought like five songs. I think I'll start buying most of my music on iTunes, but I think I will still come to stores like this every once in a while if I want the actual CD, like hardcopy," she said.

Her mother, Vivian, was a tougher sell.

"I'm old school, I don't buy anything online. I'm definitely still a hard-copy person," she said.

Such holdouts are one aspect of keeping the brick-and-mortar stores going. But another aspect is diversifying products. While two of the largest music retailers in southern Africa, Look and Listen and Musica, declined to grant interviews, Musica did issue a welcoming statement to the new online retailer. It reads as follows:
 
"The official launch in South Africa sits comfortably with our expansion into entertainment-related products such as headphones, portable speakers, docking stations, etc."

The statement gives an optimistic view of how iTunes will affect music sales. The statement continues:

"In addition, CD sales will increase as they will benefit from additional exposure through iTunes, combined with the continuing demand for the physical format that still exists in this country."

Apple declined to be interviewed, but its entrance into the African marketplace isn't a huge surprise, as other online retailers already have started chipping into the music market here.

"I don't think the effect will be felt immediately, but it will be felt fairly soon," said Arthur Goldstuck, an author specializing in technology, and managing director of World Wide Worx.

"It's not really only iTunes itself that will make that effect felt, but the ongoing barrage of digital weapons, or you could say digital attacks, that are emerging," he said.

While consumers will have more options, there are a few factors that may help brick-and-mortar retailers here. Internet here is generally bought by the megabyte, rather than as an unlimited monthly service. Also, as of 2011, Internet access was below 20 percent in South Africa, and nearly 29 percent in both Nigeria and Kenya, so many customers won't have access to purchase music online.

"That's certainly what's keeping stores going for now," said Goldstuck. "Keeping them alive is the fact that most people don't have that kind of access online. Particularly it you are going to find that's going to change as more and more people realize they can access the music cheaper as well as more easily through these services. That's going to change."

Goldstuck said Apple's move into Nigeria could provide a new outlet for music downloading.

"The music industry hasn't really figured out how to solve the piracy issue in Nigeria. when it gets to Nigeria, I think that could help to change that particular industry," he said. "In most of the African countries it's really just going to bring all this music to the masses for the first time, people who would've never had access to anything like as wide a range of music as they do through the iStore."

In the end, customers like Darryl Bome, of Johannesburg say they're more likely to head online than to the mall.

"What I think a lot of people would do, or what I actually do, is go into a store have a look at a couple of music tracks, a couple of tracks that I want to think about and download, definitely get onto iTunes, purchase those as single tracks without purchasing the entire album and create my own list. So, I think its a great thing, I think its a great, great thing," said Bome.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid