Charles Goldstuck, president of and CEO of TouchTunes Interactive Networks, predicts that South Africa's broadband network will be robust enough by mid-2010 to see the potential roll out of several global digital music platforms in the country.

The J-Records co-founder and former BMG president and COO took the TouchTunes job in 2009. The New York-based company says it is the largest out-of-home interactive entertainment, advertising and commerce network in North America. It launched the world's first digital downloading, pay-per-play jukebox in 1998, and provides entertainment and marketing solutions to more than 40,000 bars, restaurants, and retailers.

"South Africa is on the verge of taking its place amongst the industrialized nations in terms of its broadband capability, and its with the advent of that that you will see a move towards real digital music consumption here," Goldstuck told delegates on the opening day of independent music summit Music Exchange, held in the Victoria Junction Hotel in Cape Town.

"By mid-2010, South Africa's broadband network will be robust enough to run my network - and it will create a marketplace that is poised for any digitally distributed product because it should now be very easy for any company to come into this market," he added.

Goldstuck pointed to the likes of Spotify, Pandora and his own TouchTunes as potential operators in a market where there are few digital players outside of Nokia Music Store.

Goldstuck revealed that his current focus is on taking the TouchTunes digital jukebox model into Taiwan as part of a rollout into emerging markets. "This is exactly the kind of business that will take music to the masses in every country, with no restriction based on geography," he said. Goldstuck said that he would be looking at bringing TouchTunes to South Africa as part of a cluster that includes Australia and New Zealand.

Inaugurated in 2009, Music Exchange is a three-day annual event that brings together music industry reps in Cape Town.

Among the speakers this year are veteran South African musician Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, Jake Larsen, Nokia's head of music for Middle East and Africa, and Yoel Kenan founder of Cape Town-based Africori, an online platform connecting indie African artists with music users worldwide.

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