Mobile music streaming with data bundle for SA

A new content streaming player, Spice VAS Africa, has revealed its plans to enter the South African market, and CEO Arun Nagar explained that they want to offer something different to users here.

According to Nagar they will soon be launching streaming music services aimed at mobile South African users, and are planning on bundling some mobile data for streaming with their subscription.

A subscription will cost R15/week, and although the amount of data included (for Spice streaming services only) is not yet cast in stone, Nagar said that they are looking at 50MB or so.

The data allotment is derived from the average usage they’ve seen in other markets from users on-the-go, Nagar explained, conceding that they do consider the South African market as very different from where they currently operate.

This means they’ll have to look at trends as they develop and adapt their offering accordingly.

Spice Africa, which Nagar said is a subsidiary of Spice Mobility, started in November 2009 and focussed on establishing a Pan-African footprint before coming to South Africa.

They provide entertainment value-added services in 12 African countries, spanning all the major sub-Saharan markets in Africa, Nagar said. He went on to explain that they started from the low-hanging fruit in the East African markets such as Kenya and Tunisia, followed by Nigeria and Ghana.

Spice as a company started in India and has existed for 30 years, Nagar said. They are now headquartered in Singapore.

Arun Nagar
Arun Nagar

Music, video, and gaming

Spice Africa’s offering isn’t just about music, even though that’s the first thing they’ll be launching in South Africa, Nagar said.

He explained that they want to offer an “all you can eat” content subscription service where “you might come for music today, video tomorrow, and something else the day thereafter”.

For their mobile gaming offering Spice has already started discussions with international publishers such as Electronic Arts, but Nagar said that local developers will be encouraged to come onto their service as well.

Music streaming

The first South African content portal using their music on-demand technology will be live before Christmas 2012, Nagar said.

Soul Candi, a local record label, will be the first portal to go live, Nagar said, with plans to add more portals from January 2013.

These include plans for operator portals that will include local and international music, Nagar said.

A subscription to Spice’s services will let South African users access content on any of the portals they launch locally, Nagar said.

To provide the data along with its subscription, Spice Africa had to enter into reverse-billing agreements with South Africa’s mobile network operators.

According to Nagar they will have agreements in place with MTN and Vodacom, but they also plan to offer the bundled data for Cell C and 8ta subscribers in future.

Users will be able to access content from a mobi site or an app. Their Android and iPhone apps are being tested and they are working on BlackBerry and Windows Phone apps, Nagar added.

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Mobile music streaming with data bundle for SA