SOUTH Africans will soon be able to download church sermons and music on to their cellphones through Indian company Spice VAS Africa, which has exclusive deals with content providers.
Such services are boosting cellphone operators’ revenue growth across the world.
Spice VAS Africa plans to launch a virtual music store platform that will provide different music genres and other audio services such as church sermons, comedy and education-related clips for the local market in November. The content can be downloaded on phones from entry level up to smartphones.
CEO Arun Nagar said yesterday that he believed the South African cellphone market was “rich with opportunity” for operators to lock in customer loyalty and grow market share with “great” content.
“We will provide music on demand. It will be a 360 degree platform,” he said.
Spice VAS Africa, which has been in SA for six months, has signed a deal with Rhema Church, headed by the charismatic Ray McCauley, to make his Sunday sermons available for downloads.
The company has also signed deals with music labels such as Soul Candi and Ghetto Ruff.
It has been operating in Africa for three years and has agreements with 560 artists in 12 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
Spice VAS Africa is in discussions with one of SA’s network operators to provide its content. It is also in talks with social network Mxit to launch Mxit Music.
“Music is a critical pillar and our long-term goal is to ensure that our users can easily and cost effectively access all the music they desire from inside our social network,” Mxit said.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, said digital music “must add tremendous value to the music buyer’s experience, or it will not replace what is being lost in physical sales for the foreseeable future”.
Spice VAS Africa’s entry into SA follows Simfy Africa, a partnership between European streaming provider Simfy and local digital content firm eXactmobile, which launched its online music platform last month.