Abyssinia Bank and Awtar Multimedia Ethiopia have launched Awtar Music Streaming app, the first music streaming platform in Ethiopia, at a star-studded event held at Skylight Hotel. Awtar Multimedia is an organization established by various prominent Ethiopian artists.

The app is the main collaboration with Abyssinia Bank since purchases from the app are going to be processed by the bank. According to the press release by the partners, Awtar’s services are structured with the artist reaping the benefit of their work in mind. This is part of an effort to aid the ailing Ethiopian music industry.

Ethiopian diaspora all across the world are one of the main target audiences of the app, considering the high demand for home-grown content among those populations as well as added spending power. Songs can be bought for 0.50 USD and albums for 5 USD.

Abyssinia Bank also affirms that the collaboration is not solely a business venture and is part of the bank’s desire to play a more prominent role in Ethiopia’s music industry. The bank stressed the need for efforts to address property rights that are seldom, if ever, addressed when it comes to the music industry. 

Recently, experts had pointed to Ethiopia’s lax enforcement of property protection laws as a factor that might contribute to the country’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) within the coming year. While music property laws are probably not high up on the list for the WTO, the fact that the issue exists still points to the need for actionable measures to be taken.

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