13 February 2018

Kenya: Safaricom Unveils Music Streaming Service

Kenya — Safaricom has invested in an all-inclusive music streaming service offering a wide variety of music to consumers as well as an additional platform for artists to sell their music.

The "SONGA by Safaricom" streaming service is accessible as an app on Android mobile devices and will provide a one-touch access for music across all major genres giving subscribers convenience of listening to their favorite music on their smartphones.

Safaricom Director of Consumer Business Silyvia Mulinge says the firm has concluded agreements with major international and African labels and aggregators including Sony Music Entertainment, Africori, Africha, Ngoma, Expedia and is at an advanced stage of negotiation with other major labels.

Available music includes songs by Wizkid, Camila Cabello, Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Davido and local hit artistes such as Sauti Sol, Mercy Masika, Nyashinski, and Eric Wainana among others.

"The app curates, codifies and classifies vernacular, local music and a world-class international music catalogue with over 2 million songs from over 400,000 artistes," Mulinge noted.

The service will launch with a free 14 days trial, thereafter customers will have the freedom to choose a subscription plan that suits them at Sh25 a day, Sh150 weekly or Sh499 monthly.

"We are happy and excited to add yet another revenue stream that will increase Kenyan artistes earnings because we believe in working together to make great things happens," said Mulinge.

Safaricom runs the biggest ringback tunes popularly known as Skiza for its 29 million customers.

Last year Skiza service paid out over Sh1.4 billion to musicians.

The app also offers online and offline play, track and full album downloads, playlist creation and an ability to share links with other subscribers.

"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 it 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 catalogue of yesteryears," said Yoel Kenan, CEO of Africori, one of the largest Africa aggregators.

To drive consumer uptake and create awareness of the platform, Safaricom has engaged Kenya's most acclaimed award-winning artistes Nyashinsky, Sauti Sol and Mercy Masika as creative directors for SONGA by Safaricom.

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