Anthony Omenya struck out with his first app he created a few years ago in Montreal. Now he’s ready to knock his newest idea out of the park.
By all indications, it looks like the French-Congolese Montrealer may be on to something.
Omenya is the founder of Africa Moko, an app that wants to be the user-savvy mobile home for every single afro music video available on Youtube. The vast category of “Afro music” includes millions of french and english artists, and easily hundreds of millions of fans all over Africa, Europe and the Americas (primarily).
The Congolese word “Moko,” means “one,” according to Omenya. The full name means “One Africa,” symbolizing bringing together all the African nations as one culture (presumably through music).
There doesn’t seem to be many credible competitors in the space. Omenya hasn’t even launched the planned iOS and Android Africa Moko apps yet (the launch is planned for September) and he’s already racked up over 5,000 Facebook likes. Moreover, a republished Medium article about Africa Moko written by Omenya is Google’s top result netted for “Afro music video app.”
The night before this article was published, Omenya flew to Paris. He’s off to meet who he calls “the Jay-Z of African music,” who saw Africa Moko on Instagram and reached out to Omenya directly. (He said he couldn’t reveal the artist’s name right now).
Omenya said that the hundreds of millions of Afro music fans all over the world are hungry for music content, but a lot of artists, whether they’re located in the African continent or in European countries like France, don’t always have the savviest marketing skills.
“The artists of this generation of Africa aren’t very well experienced in online stuff. They’re late in the technology,” he said.
And then there’s the problem of a lot of the best music not being available on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play.
A lot of great Afro music can be found via music videos on Youtube, but the massive platform isn’t targeted exclusively to these fans.
“Every week an ‘Afrobeat’ video is posted by very talented artists on Youtube, but it’s difficult for them to promote their new achievements,” said Omenya. “YouTube is an excellent distribution tool, but offers no tools for promotion.”
Omenya knows that people generally don’t enjoy constantly searching and clicking in Youtube to play a steady stream of their favourite artists. His app will be simple and enjoyable, he said.
“Africa Moko is going to be the best way for fans to consume the content and stay up to date,” Omenya told MTLinTECH. “And for the artist it’ll be a key way for them to directly promote their stuff with their target market.”
Even when one tries to search out credible competitors to Omenya’s idea, it’s tough to find any. A simple Google search of “Afro music app” lands some truly sad outcomes outside of Africa Moko. (If we’re not aware of someone, let us know).
“Go ahead, search,” Omenya provoked us. “I won’t say I’m the only one, but I can say I’m the first who’s going to provide something amazing for these fans.”
The free app will have a premium, paid version where fans will gain access to new music videos and exclusive content before everyone else. They can also access their playlists offline anytime and they’ll have the ability to create multiple playlists.
Omenya said it’s a “win-win” for both the artist and the fan. Africa Moko will offer packages to artists including one or two week promotional spots on the app’s home section and the ability to push notifications to subscribers when new videos launch. They can also promote and sell their merchandise and concert tickets on the app.
The founder feels that the sheer amount of users he could potentially attract will take care of any nay-sayers. And he has a point. It’s tough to nail down just how many people love this genre of music, but hundreds of millions wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
For concrete examples of the popularity of African music, one doesn’t need to look far. Jay-Z and Roc Nation just signed Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage and Koffi Olomide’s “Selfie” video from 2015 notched nearly eight million views. Even one of Drake’s most popular new songs, One Dance, is laid over a very typical African beat
People are going to consume these music videos, so who’s going to command that market share with a perfect app for the user?
Omenya has his eyes set.