We got exclusive access to test the platform and I can say it’s Nigeria’s own version of Spotify. Simply put, iROKING wants to solve the global distribution issue for Nigerian music.
iROKING has already signed exclusive and hybrid digital distribution deals with popular music artists in Nigeria including Timaya, 2face, Bez, P Square, Bracket, Waje, Flavour, Faze, 9ice, 2Shotz, Kefee, Kween, Eva, Shank, Sunny Nneji, Sam Kleft, Sammie Okposo, Tim Godfrey, Monine, Terry G, OJB, Mr Raw, Weird MC, Waconzy, Konga, Skuki, Rymzo and more.
The platform, iROKING.com (still buggy) allows you to listen to all of these artists for free, although it might introduce a subscription service in the future. The music streaming service will also be available on the iOS, Android, Windows 7, Symbian, Blackberry platforms to be released in February 2012.
The platform also features a unique search functionality that lets you search for music based on genre, most played and most rated. It also features a good database of music artists, their bios and albums released.
To listen to an entire artists’ album, simply click in the ‘Click to view’ button and the album’s track list will display then you can choose which track to listen to. When you click a track, it opens on the iROKING music player and starts playing.
The platform also gives lets you watch the music video (if available) for any track by clicking on the ‘View Track’ button on the far right of the music track list. When you click this, it takes you to the music video on Youtube which Iroko Partners also manages.
I asked Jason Njoku, the platform’s founder if he sees Spinlet, Deezer, Spotify, iTunes as competition.
He said of course, but that his company has signed and sealed a good number of deals with a huge array of artists to distribute their music digitally and manage their content exclusively, so even if they were to launch, it would be without Nigerian music.
On how iROKING plans to beat the competition, he said by being awesomely designed, device agnostic and focused on Nigeria.
“We are growing the $-revenue value of Nigerian music industry. In a mere 12 months, IROKO created a million-dollar digital market place for Nollywood movies. We are the largest licensee of Nollywood movies,” he added.
For the Nigerian music industry, Njoku said they’ve “invested hundreds of
thousands of dollars to demonstrate to artists how their content should be valued and not bastardized across the internet for free.”
He further said that the cost of videos, music production and promotion is
accelerating higher, but the bulk of the content is consumed for
free on the internet.
iROKING hopes to change that forever by re-focusing around generating revenues in dollars for artists.