China, India, Japan and South Korea tend to hog the digital-music attention in Asia, but there are plenty of interesting things going on in south east Asia too: especially around mobile operators.
Bangladeshi telco Banglalink, for example, is making a new push with its Banglalink Vibe app, which has just added 50 exclusive albums to its catalogue, from popular local artists including Habib, Balam, Kona, Minar, Adit, Elita, Imran, Topu, Pritom, Bappa, Mehreen, Shafin, Nancy, and Towfique. The albums are part of an app that uses a freemium model: free music videos, radio and playlists, along with a premium tier that offers exclusive music and more features.
As a telco, Banglalink has more than 33 million customers. Vibe’s competitors in Bangladesh have included services like GP Music, launched by the country’s biggest telco Grameenphone in 2015, which attracted more than 600,000 paying users by September 2016. Another telco, Robi, partnered with Western firm Yonder Music on a service that it claimed had more than 750,000 users by November 2017.