Safaricom Music Streaming App - Songa



where are we with this, tried registering today got a your number not found error


As for me, I wont recommend anyone to waste his/her time with the app.
A lot of hiphop music is not available


Here’s a little detail you need to know. These big companies (even tech first companies) don’t have most of the tech they need. Probably something they need to invest in.

Songa was developed by Radio Africa Group, just like Mpesa and T-Kash (Android app) are Huawei and Interswitch respectively. For the longest time Safaricom shop was an Oracle set up, before they moved to Magento powered Masoko. Timiza app by Barclays was developed by Craft Silicon.

Back to Songa, its a step in the right direction, considering all the previous options that were there before. Even Viusasa has major challenges. But a lot more can be done in the way of investing in human resource to make these companies proper tech companies. I struggle with the part where Safaricom up till now hasn’t invested in engineers for new customer products.


Maybe it’s just me but I thought this permission would go beyond the coarse location identification of country and go deeper. If a user, for example, frequents the former northeastern province, the app could surface more hyper-local artists and playlists. A more ‘positive’ use of our geographically distributed ethnic diversity :woman_shrugging:

There are various uses of phone state but one of the uses is to pause, stop playback or ‘duck’ (lower the ongoing audio for a few moments to allow a higher priority audio notification) audio volume playback when you get a call/notification, etc. Google lumped a number of permissions in this one (phone number of the device, current cellular network information, the status of any ongoing calls, and a list of any PhoneAccounts registered on the device) and devs have no otherwise than to just request it especially for an audio app.

Read texts is no longer necessary though. Google has had the SMS retriever api available for quite some time now and it doesn’t require this permission to verify SMS based user verification. It’s quite nifty actually and you might have noticed it on the uber app which doesn’t require SMS permissions yet it uses SMS to verify your phone number. I’d blame this on the devs being behind the curve.

This is obviously to enable the app to cache/store music locally for offline playback on internal or external storage (Phones with a physical or emulated sd card). Not for upload to songa à la
google play music.



You’re not alone on this one, hata mimi nimekuwa nikishangaa how Saf saf has been so busy half-assing their recent products from Masoko to 1Tap to Songa, basically any ‘new’ product wamedrop in the past couple of months imekuwa riddled na flaws.

Plus , solid points in your comment but I feel Songa isn’t a step in the right direction, with more local artistes joining platforms such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify(not available locally yet) sioni venye Songa itacompete na those platforms in the long run with its very very limited library(2.5M songs is a JOKE) & w/o standout features & solid music discovery algos kama hawa wengine. But, hey I might be wrong…stranger things have happened :sweat_smile:


Who has the App running without issues, can;t even register successfully


There was a memo - uninstall after trial :sweat_smile:


Interesting to know. Lakini hawa Craft Silicon have developed karibu app kama zote za Fintech hapa Kenya.


Since there is no profitable music streaming app, will Songa be profitable at some point?


I downloaded the app, signed up but the disappointment came after searching for my favorite sings/artists.
I deleted the account. For me, If I can’t fine my favorite music its a useless app.


I downloaded Songa the day it was released. It is a great app. Works fine. I can’t for sure comment on its success rate locally but if they knew better they should include all artists on there. Literary all artists from the village all the way to the city. Or allow artists to upload their music as they release it and get royalties from playbacks/streams as in Skiza. If anything is to work locally I believe the masses should buy into it. The upmarket consumers who listen to international music are not that many to support the app as a niche. Also, I have Deezer and Soundcloud for African music but if they include say Dematthew songs or mugithi songs on the Songa app I would use it on the regular. Plus they want me to pay for content I can get free elsewhere.


I actually forgot all about songa until today when I saw an article on it on the techweez telegram channel. This was followed by an email from safaricom about songa 2.0.

Something I’m not quite clear on though, Safaricom mentions data free streaming in the email and in the app. Does this mean songa has been zero-rated on Safaricom network or? There was no mention of this in the article.


The article has been updated


Technically playing downloaded content from your phone is what offline streaming is.


That is playing with words to confuse people into using their bundles :joy:.


Those who have tried it, how does it work for you? The app keeps asking permissions and doesn’t go too far after. Will keep trying.

Some questions:

  • What is the default streaming bitrate?
  • Does 5/- a day offer the same quality as 500/- a month?
  • Is the payment day to day or is there an autobill option?
  • If it’s day-to-day then when does the day begin? Midnight or when you launch the app? When you start streaming music?

What happens to the downloaded music after you stop paying? - say you don’t pay 5/- tomorrow or don’t renew next month. Does the app refuse to play? While the terms of service indicate storing is allowed as long as your subscription is active, what happens if you’re saving music to listen in a network free area? Do you pay the fee in advance just to allow you to listen to music ‘offline’?


They actually got me at first. I thought they had zero rated it but nope, just word play.


Great questions Teri. We have been trying to get an interview with Songa, if it succeeds, I will surely ask these questions.


Just to add to that great list of questions, does the downloaded music have DRM protection?


lets just wait for spotify,apple music or google play music to officially launch in the kenyan market,hii songa ni a waste of time and resources…