The award ceremony will take place at the official opening of the Eastern African music summit in Nairobi, on Thursday 16 February.
The winners are selected based on the number of downloads on the Kenya-based platform. Shyqo Koinange, Head of Music at Mdundo explains: “The philosophy behind our awards is to acknowledge musicians based on the real consumption of their music, instead of a panel or a voting process, which is often the practice. We are very happy to be hosted by ONGEA! this year”.
The awards come on the heels of a one million user milestone in January 2017. In an interview conducted by Russell Southwood and published on smartmonkeytv.com, Mdundo CEO Martin Nielsen indicated that based on use four to five times a year and active in the last 30 days, Mdundo now has a total of one million users – 400,000 each in Kenya and Tanzania; 100,000 in Uganda; and 100,000 in the rest of Africa.
“It’s been an interesting and exciting period of growth. It’s been a lot around Tanzania and Uganda. We’ve had tremendous growth in Tanzania and gradual growth in Uganda,” he said.
The platform has 37 000 artists, 25 000 of those being from the three East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In the next 12 months Mdundo wants to get more artists from Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia and Rwanda.
Revenues, said Nielsen, range from US$1 000 - 2 000 a year for the top artists, a small amount compared to ringtones but still helpful as a supplementary income stream.
This year’s awards will have seven categories:
- Most Downloaded Single 2016
- Most Downloaded Female Single 2016
- Most Downloaded Male Single 2016
- Most Downloaded Group Single 2016
- Most Downloaded Gospel Artist 2016
- Most Downloaded Hip-Hop Artist 2016
- Most Downloaded Afro-pop Artist 2016
ONGEA! runs 12pm-10pm daily, from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 February and entry is free.