Africa: Mondia Launches Its 'Pay-As-You-Go' Digital Content Platform Monsooq in South Africa but Plans Roll-Out in Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya

30 November 2020

London — The making of the mobile industry was the moment that pre-paid calling was implemented. Users with no secure income but relatively small amounts of money could become customers when they had money. This week Mondia has launched a content platform that might become the "pre-pay" moment for digital content in Africa. Russell Southwood talked to Paolo Rizzardini, CCO, Mondia about its plans.

Mondia came up with idea for its 'Pay-As-You-Go" digital content platform just 8 months ago:"We were analyzing data from the African market and realized how difficult it was to monetize Africa subscribers in a US or European 'all-you-can-eat' subscription."

"We looked for a model that can work for the African consumer. We know that they're interested in content and that they are increasingly more and more smartphones. So we said let's give them a one-stop shop where you can taste in a convenient way. You can buy a bucket of entertainment time."

Monsooq is currently a web portal but will transition to also becoming an app as user numbers increase. The portal has four categories: watch, listen, play (online games) and read. It was only launched Monday but the Watch and Play categories are the ones currently getting the attention.

The service launched Monday (9 November) in South Africa at R2 (US13 cents) for 30 minutes. In content terms the aim is to have half-and-half local and international content. Currently the content portfolio feels a little thin but Mondia is promising some important content announcements before Christmas and they will be adding more as they go forward:"We have 50 content partners who we are currently integrating."

Content providers will get 50% of revenues spent on their content on a monthly basis. Mondia has its own dedicated content team and would be interested to hear from African content owners.

The current content available includes South African lifestyle channel Viva Nation TV; Weflix, a Netflix-style platform; Indian Bollywood platform Epic On; music content from Universal Music; and e-sports content. The launch has been based on the user purchasing time on a card or coupon. The latter can be give as free time as loyalty rewards by sponsors to users.

Mondia's big strength is its relationship with MNOs, of which it has more than 80 using its other services including Vodafone, Telefonica and Vodacom. In time, it will persuade some of these customers to integrate carrier billing into Monsooq.

It is talking to MNOs about "content+data" bundles that can be sold and also be given as part of a SIM starter pack:"We're helping operators to monetize in a fragmented market and we see them as strategic partners in terms of reach. The MNOs we've talked to are excited and see this as an innovative approach. It is a new way to engage with their customers."

If the launch in South Africa goes well, Monsooq will be rolled out in Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya:"Our first milestone will be 1 million users and we have sub-milestones based on an engagement with the content KPI that we'll look at in June." Over time Mondia would like to see Mondia become a 'super-app' with a widening set of other applications.

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