It’s interesting to see how they’re progressing from being a Telco to this. I often wonder if there is a reason why bigger global telcos have avoided the music streaming business - no real money, plenty of support headaches.
A few years ago a friend launched Waabeh with the aim of making it the ‘Spotify of Africa’. As a small player, getting artists on board was a challenge, together with adoption and scalability. Here comes a telco with more resources and a bigger footprint so those two are a non-issue.
I wonder why they wouldn’t just partner with existing businesses instead of just copy and paste? If they are really trying to support the youth as their academy claims, then why launch exact services in niche markets to compete with the same startups they say they want to support?
Here’s how I see this could work:
- Artists get a bigger platform to sell their music.
- People get access to music they otherwise wouldn’t find. Kenyans are willing to support artists but it has to be in a way that’s convenient. Would people pay $1 - $4.99 (KES 100 - KES 500) a month to stream their favourite artists? Probably.
- All your music in one place - Hybrid (Offline + Cloud) storage beats offline only.
- Ad platform - More relevant ads tailored to your tastes. Better than radio
- Digital Radio in Future - They’ll have enough data after users join to determine if a telco digital radio platform would work
What it needs to be successful:
- Ad Supported & Subscription Tiers
- Seamlessly built app - Experience should be at par with leading music streaming apps
- Secure Tech - Proper DRM (WideVine) so no support for rooted users
- D.A.S.H. Protocol - allow streaming at Normal (96 kbps), High (160 kbps), and Extreme (320 kbps), depending on the subscription model.
- Zero Rated Option - Paid subscribers data isn’t counted towards their music streaming
The Zero rated option might be their biggest incentive to attract users. Even if it’s zero rated for a certain period it will let users test it out while simultaneously allowing the telco to test its infrastructure. This might mean the telco would pay artists for any royalties due from streaming over this period - Free trial period etc - similar to what apple music did. Safcon doesn’t believe in providing free service.
To increase adoption of FTTH, they could give 3 months free subscription of upto 5 devices for any household that signs up to their FTTH.