The self-described “Premier Ethiopian music streaming service with the largest and most complete music collection in the Ethiopian music” ArifZefen launched its digital music sales service at Monarch Hotel on Wednesday, May 17.
The California-based technology firm, with an office in Ethiopia, said that the pioneering service is to allow customers to purchase albums – in full or singles – by downloading to their devices at affordable prices. By making it convenient and flexible, the company hopes to benefits the artists as well as the popularity of Ethiopian music.
Taking note of the slow connection of internet in the country, the company is to allow the use of mobile phone credit, instead of the use of credit cards, as is the norm in North America. A single track is to cost three birr.
The new Teddy Afro “Ethiopia”, a worldwide hit album is currently being sold through the new site internationally; however, because of unexplained reason, it is not yet available in Ethiopia.
From the sale, Ethio-Telecom is to get a 40 percent share, while the balance is shared by the site and the artist. At the launch, artists, producers and promoters were in attendance, including Sami Dan, Tadele Roba and Zeleke Gessesse.
The company announced that the new service is to allow users to purchase new songs, or albums, via an app and download onto their devices and listen to their purchased songs without a need of internet connection.
“At ArifZefen, we believe in making the experiences of the app users as friendly as possible. We live in a fast paced world and we understand the necessity of convenience,” Ephraim Tekle, CEO of ArifSoft, the parent company of ArifZefen, said. “That is why we continuously work to raise the standards of the service we provide, at the same time changing the way people experience listening to Ethiopian music”.
The company was founded by a number of diaspora Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate engineers from Boston, with decades of Silicon Valley experience. According to them, “This mission is to re-imagine and re-invent the way mobile produces are being used, particularly in the developing parts of the world.”
“With ArifZefen and now the new ArifZefen store, users will continue to have their favorite tunes on the go neatly organized in one place,” Meraf Kifle, ArifSoft’s Marketing Manager, said.
The young company, which was founded in 2012, has plans to expand to other parts of Africa, in particular to West Africa, to take advantage of the popularity of music from the region.