As it doubles down on scaling across Africa, Mdundo listed publicly on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Denmark at the start of the month and raised $6.4 million. The choice of listing in Denmark, beyond Nielsen’s obvious ties to his home country, is linked to local appreciation for disruptive music businesses and models.”We’ve seen success stories coming out of here like Spotify coming from Sweden,” Nielsen argues. “Investors will understand what we’re doing and understand the massive potential there is in transforming a huge illegal music market to a legal one.”

With only 5 million active users, Mdundo still only services a sliver of the potential market in Africa and will face competition from other players on the continent. One of those is Boomplay, the music streaming service owned by Transsion—Africa’s top phone maker. After growing rapidly on the coattails of its parent company, Boomplay raised $20 million last year to fund expansion plans. And while Spotify is available in only five African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia), Apple Music has recently expanded to 30 African countries.

But despite the merits of streaming, including allowing African artists participate in the global digital music economy, there is a major drawback for users, especially outside high income and middle-class brackets. The high costs of internet access across Africa coupled with slow speeds mean streaming remains an expensive option for most, particularly in comparison with one-time downloads.

“There’s a lot of value in seeing what’s taking place and making sure that it benefits the right people,” Nielsen tells Quartz Africa. “It’s not necessarily about trying to change consumer behavior—there’s more value in trying to tap into a market that’s already existing but right now not benefiting the creators.”

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