The Independent Online Distribution Alliance, a digital distribution company for the independent music industry, today announced the launch of IODA Africa, which it describes as the first global digital music distribution network in Sub-Saharan Africa. The launch of IODA Africa was made in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment and was announced at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France.

In Sub-Saharan Africa mobile subscribers -- currently estimated at 195 million -- grow at a rate of 250,000 new subscribers per day. Deals with Africa's mobile leaders will provide IODA Africa with access to more than 20 new territories and nearly 100 million potential customers.

"Africa is the second largest and most populous continent after Asia, yet almost entirely unexplored as a market for digital music distribution," said Keith Lister, Managing Director, SME Africa. "Africa is synonymous with wonderfully vibrant, original and diverse music traditions -- despite its piracy and infrastructure challenges. SME looks forward to working with IODA to deliver a legitimate digital distribution solution in which rights holders across the African region are properly compensated for their copyrighted works."

IODA Africa has already begun to sign global deals with leading African independent labels and content holders, including Rockstar 4000 and Africori.