Safaricom and Radio Africa Group have unveiled a music streaming service offering a wide variety of music to consumers, as well as an additional platform for artistes to sell their music.
Dubbed “SONGA by Safaricom”, the Radio Africa Group-owned streaming service will compete with 88mph’s Mdundo, Boomplay Music and the yet to be launched Spotify in Kenya.
Songa curates, codifies and classifies a vernacular, local and world class international music catalogue with over two million songs from over 400,000 artistes. Available music includes songs by local stars such as Sauti Sol, Mercy Masika, Nyashinski, and Eric Wainana, and international sensations Wizkid, Camila Cabello, Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce and Davido among others.
“Our aim is to delight our subscribers with a carefully curated world class collection, a fantastic user interface and a smooth streaming experience,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director of Consumer Business at Safaricom.
SONGA by Safaricom offers online and offline play, track and full album downloads, playlist creation and an ability to share links with other subscribers.
The service will launch with a free 14-day trial. Thereafter customers will have the freedom to choose a subscription plan that suit them at KES 25/= a day, KES 150/= weekly or KES 499/= monthly. However, most musicians upload their music for free on YouTube and firm might find it hard to get paying customers.
The service has concluded agreements with major international and African music labels and aggregators including Sony Music Entertainment, Africori, Africha, Ngoma and Expedia, and is at an advanced stage of negotiation with other labels.
“In Songa by Safaricom, we see a unique solution that rivals international music applications. Sony Music Entertainment is proud to be associated with this unique product that we believe is well positioned to deliver on its promise to entertain and capture unique moments in our lives,” said Sean Watson, Managing Director, Sony Music Entertainment Africa.
“We see a natural home for our diverse African content here. We love the focus on the latest African hits as well as the timeless catalogues of yesteryears,” said Yoel Kenan, CEO of Africori, one of the largest Africa aggregators.
The launch of the music app emphasizes Safaricom’s commitment to growing the Kenyan music industry. Safaricom runs the biggest ring back tunes service, popularly known as Skiza, for its 29 million customers, and last year paid out over KES 1.4 billion in royalties to artistes.
“We are excited to launch yet another service that will provide an additional revenue stream to Kenyan artistes and increase their earnings, because we believe in working together to make great things happens,” said Ms. Mulinge.
To drive consumer uptake and create awareness of the platform, Safaricom has engaged some of Kenya’s most highly acclaimed artistes – Nyashinsky, Sauti Sol and Mercy Masika – as creative directors for SONGA by Safaricom.
Customers will be able to download the music app by simply dialing *812#.