A music download service targeting South Africans who own basic feature phones could break into the country’s market as early as next month.
Singapore headquartered Spice VAS Africa, which has operations in 11 African nations such as Kenya and Nigeria, plans to make its entertainment content services available in SA.
The mobile service, available on any handset, is intended to let users download music and video content such as gospel, house and pop music. Even church sermons are planned to become available for download.
The service is further planned to have weekly and monthly subscription fees, whereby users respectively pay R15 and R60 to download any song they want. Spice VAS adds that subscribing is not a fixed term contract and customers have the option to opt out.
Spice VAS Africa chief executive officer, Arun Nagar, says the launch of their service in South Africa is imminent and that his company is in the final stages of a partnership deal with one of the country’s popular network providers.
“Spice is a content supermarket where music is important,” says Nagar.
Nager adds that Spice VAS Africa has also already joined forces with two of the country’s popular music labels, EMI and Soul Candi, to boost its lineup of music offerings.
However, he did not disclose what percentage of revenues made go to the artists, the record labels or his company.
The imminent launch of a this music service also comes after a string of online entertainment offerings have been unveiled in South Africa.
German-based music streaming service Simfy, for example, unveiled a South African service last year, which has monthly subscription fee of R60. Tech giant Apple also unveiled its iTunes music offering in South Africa late last year, allowing local users to purchase individual songs and albums.
Managing director at Strategy Worx, Steven Ambrose, says that timing is the main reason more firms starting to offer digital music streaming services in SA.
“It took forever to break the ice to get the agreements of all the various people involved, like the copyright holders to negotiate and get the concept of music streaming right,” he explains to ITWeb Africa.
“Once the first one and that was Simfy got it right, it became so much easier for the others to then follow suit and come out with their own music streaming services,” Ambrose adds.
Regarding Spice VAS upcoming South African music service, Ambrose told ITWeb Africa that it could be too expensive for the market they are targeting.
“It’s basically expensive for the lower end of the market and I don’t think they will sign up millions of users,” he concludes.