A new South African service called Bozza was recently launched that aims to provide content producers across Africa a platform to give away their content for free and still make money from it.
The idea is that Bozza will sell advertising and split the revenues with authors 50/50.
A proof of concept 7-minute made-for-mobile video was launched on MXit on 24 October 2010, which Bozza says was downloaded 40,000 times in three days. Over three months this number climbed to 170,000.
This convinced Emma Kaye, founder and CEO of Bozza, to secure investment and build a custom mobile application.
Right now the service is aimed at feature phones, with an app available for download at http://bozza.mobi, but Bozza has plans to optimise for smartphone by mid-2012.
Bozza features music, video, and poetry from across Africa and boasts with over 300 artists, filmmakers, and poets with new channels being released every day.
Popular channels currently include Naija Music and NaijaPoem, Badilisha Poetry, Bozza Hits and Mobi-Football.
Bozza explains that their name is slang for “boss” and is colloquially used to describe someone who owns his/her dream, overcomes obstacles no matter what and is in control of their life.
We asked Catherine Lückhoff, head of brand strategy at Bozza, a few questions about the service. The interview follows below.
I noticed “dlramp.com” in the download link. Is Bozza built on Ramp? If not, what did you develop it on? If so, why did you choose Ramp and what are your thoughts on it?
We have indeed built on RAMP as it allows the app to render on multiple devices. As with any platform it has its benefits and its drawbacks. The app is still very much in beta, so I will be able to comment on this more comprehensively in the future.
Can you go into a bit more depth with regards to how users can make money from their content? Can anyone create a channel, or post to a channel and earn money off advertising revenue?
Anyone can submit content by emailing email@example.com. From here our content department issues a username and password for the potential channel owner. Channels are currently being vetted for launch, but the system will become open.
How much money would an artist typically earn off a single listen/read/watch?
At this point is is hard to tell as it will depend on the number users and the advertising revenue we generate based on these numbers. The revenue share is however split 50/50 between the channel owner and Bozza. As soon as I have figures available I will be happy to share them with you.
What restrictions/rules are there around content? I’m specifically thinking of the the length of audio and video files, as well as articles, stories, and poems. What are the policies around nudity, violence, and other touchy subjects?
The full content policies are available on the Bozza.mobi website. The following content is prohibited:
- Pornography or adult sexual and related content.
- Gambling and related content.
- Adverts for online casinos, premium rated SMS competitions or affiliates with the primary purpose of driving traffic to online gambling sites and telemarketing competitions.
- Content that violates human rights.
Users are also not permitted to promote:
- Hate speech and gratuitous violence.
- Alcohol and/or tobacco products/content.
- Weapons and/or ammunition and related content.
- Prescription drugs and related content.
Do you ensure that content posted is owned by the poster/channel?
Each approved channel owner signs a contract with Bozza warranting that they have the right to distribute the content on Bozza. It is important to note that all content providers retain the rights to their intellectual property.