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Five best streaming apps in Nigeria

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Last year, for the first time, global music streaming revenues surpassed income from the sale of traditional formats; streaming accounted for 38% of global recorded music revenues. This marked a tipping point for the music industry, which has traditionally depended on income from CDs since the 1980s.

In Nigeria, the shift is also evident in the gradual but consistent depowering of the Alaba distribution network, in SoundCloud and YouTube replacing blogs as the #1 source of online music discovery and in the rise of digital-only music releases within the artist community.

There are a number of companies that have taken advantage of the rise of streaming in the country. A mixture of wholly-indigenous companies, foreign-based Nigerian-owned businesses and multinationals with in-country operations are leveraging their local expertise to compete with streaming giants like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, and to create services customized for the Nigerian listener. In this article, we highlight the most popular local music streaming services operating in Nigeria today.

#1. Boom Player Music (Android – 5 Million+ Installs)
Boom Player is a music app that initially came preloaded on Tecno phones but has become very popular among other Android users. It operates in at least four African countries and gives listeners access to millions of African and international songs, lyrics, videos, audiobooks and other content. The Boom Player app is very user-friendly and detailed, but uncluttered. The service uses a native coin-based system to offer daily, weekly, monthly and annual plans. Streaming is free but contains ads. Increasing your membership status not only gives users access to ad-free content but also the chance to create playlists, download content, and access better audio quality.    

#2. MTN Music+ (Web, iOS – #52, Android – 100,000+ Installs, Blackberry World, Nokia)
Local telcos have queued up to break into the Nigerian music streaming space; thus far, MTN has been the most successful, with its Huawei-engineered Music+ service. MTN has leveraged its gigantic subscriber base of over 53 million users to create a very popular product. Music+ has a free package but also offers more features that users can access through paid plans. It has become a favourite within the artist community and a preferred destination for debuting new music exclusively. The service however, isn’t as user-friendly. Music+ has a number of aesthetic flaws, from a clumsy design to confusing content labelling, as well as functional issues, from poor audio quality to being poorly supported overall.

#3. Spinlet (Web, iOS – #95, Android – 100,000 Installs)
Spinlet was formally launched in Nigeria in 2013 and it became the first music streaming service in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its first-mover advantage, the company’s development has been hampered by well-documented internal issues – it’s a minor miracle that they’re still able to offer a competent product to the marketplace. Users of Spinlet have access to a limited selection of Nigerian music that’s augmented with music from other parts of Africa and the rest of the world. Spinlet has also introduced podcasts and editorial content to their platform. Sadly though, audio quality issues take so much away from the listening experience. There’s also the problem of infrequent technology updates and upgrades. Spinlet offers a free streaming service that’s interrupted by ads, but there’s a ₦300 a month (or ₦3,000 a year) premium service that’s ad-free and allows users do more on the platform. Users can also make one-time purchases.

#4. MyNotJustOk (Web, iOS – #51)
NotJustOk has remained one of Nigeria’s most popular music blogs for over a decade. The ubiquitous site revamped its mobile app in 2017 and made it a full-on music streaming service. The app has a clean, minimalistic interface and with over 300,000 songs, it gives users access to arguably the most frequently updated database of Nigerian music. MyNJO is also slowly introducing podcasts and other exclusive content. The service is completely free. There is, however, a premium package that costs $4.99 monthly and there are indications that, in the future, the song download feature might be made available exclusively to paying customers. The downside of the app is the focus on singles; NotJustOk got their fingers burnt trying to sell albums directly from the site in the past and seem reluctant to have another go.

#5. Cloud 9 (Web)
In 2015, the 9 Mobile-powered (then Etisalat) streaming service entered the Nigerian music space with great promise. The exclusive partnership between the youth-centric telco and another streaming service, Spinlet, had come to an end, and 9 Mobile put its network and considerable resources behind this new venture. But Cloud 9 hasn’t been the kind of stratospheric success observers were expecting. Without a functional app, the service has been constrained to the web, where they offer limited free access to an equally limited database of songs, albums and other content. Only short snippets of content can be streamed for free, but subscribing to Cloud9 unlocks the platform’s features. Subscription packages are tied to daily, weekly and monthly data bundles.

Honourable Mentions
#6. MyMusic.Com.NG (Web, Android – 50,000+ Installs)
#7. Orin (Web)
#8. LasGidi Tunes (Web, Android – 5,000+ Installs)
#9. Vuga (Web)
#10. iWantAirplay (Web)
Selar (Web)
iROKING (Android – 50,000+ Installs)


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