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Kenya’s Safaricom Launches Songa Music Streaming Service for Customers and Artistes

Kenya’s mobile network operator Safaricom has launched a new all-inclusive music streaming service offering a wide variety of music to consumers as well as an additional platform for artistes to sell their music.

An employee serves a customer inside a mobile phone care centre operated by Kenyan’s telecom operator Safaricom; in the central business district of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The “SONGA by Safaricom” streaming service will be accessible as an app on Android mobile devices.

The app provides one-touch access for music across all major genres giving subscribers convenience of listening to their favorite music on their smartphones.

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.

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.

“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 days 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.

The service 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.

“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 SONGA by Safaricom music App emphasizes Safaricom’s commitment to growing the Kenyan music industry. Safaricom runs the biggest ringback tunes popularly known as Skiza for its 29 million customers. Last year Skiza service paid out over Kes 1.4 billion to artistes.

“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.

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.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our fans to get our original music and access streaming services. It will be a totally immersive experience and we are really excited about it,” said SautiSol manager Marek Fuchs.

“Just can’t wait for my fans to hear my next fresh release on Songa by Safaricom. Stand by!” said multi-award artiste Nyashinski.

“It will be truly uplifting with all my gospel collection,” said Mercy Masika.

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