Finally South Africans will have an affordable music subscription service to enjoy unlimited music streaming. While first world countries have been enjoying services like Spotify and Pandora for a while now, South Africans had to just buy albums if they wanted to listen music legally. Problem is, many of the international services use region blocking to prevent anyone outside their local regions to enjoy their music catalogue. Simfy, together with its South African partner eXactmobile, is launching its product into the South African market and building up a local presence branded “simfy Africa”. The mobile content specialists from Johannesburg will be taking over marketing, local support and payment handling for the market. The partnership is enabled by simfy’s new partner API, which was introduced at the beginning of July.
An in-house editorial team at simfy africa will be introducing new and popular artists and top quality ‘locally inspired’ recommendations in the Discovery section. Together with local and ground breaking mobile payment options, users in South Africa thus have easy access to the simfy PremiumPLUS package, which is relatively affordable at R60 a month.
“Africa is a very dynamic and attractive market for us”, explains simfy CEO Gerrit Schumann. “Mobile data use is growing meteorically, particularly in markets like South Africa: over 33% of mobile phone users there are already using smartphones. The aim of our cooperation in the medium term is to offer simfy over the entire African continent. eXactmobile combines the best know-how and the right team for the optimum execution of the rollout”.
Davin Mole, CEO of eXactmobile: “simfy is starting as the first on-demand music streaming service in South Africa. We have been analysing the streaming market for a long time and in simfy we have found the best partner worldwide, with a great product and impressive technology. Together we are looking forward to stirring up the South African music market!”
We have been trying out the Simfy PremiumPLUS offering for a few days now, and we are very impressed. The catalogue on offer is first rate – in fact we had a tough time not finding even the most obscure artists (hipsters rejoice). We especially enjoyed the “make offline” feature – simply select which of your playlists you want available offline, so you do not always need an internet connection to listen to your favourite music. This offline feature is also on your iPhone or iPad, so you do not have to use 3G data on the road for your favourite music.
The desktop app is not quite as feature rich as Spotify, but it is easy enough to understand. We especially miss features to discover more artists based on your current tastes, but there is a “Radio” feature which builds playlists based on your music listening habits. But building these databases take time, so hopefully it should improve quickly. Sound quality was definitely good enough, and is currently at 192kbps. While it might not satisfy the audiophiles, the average person will not have any issues.
The service is live from today, and new users get 14 days free to try it out. If you like it, you need to sign up at R60 a month. At less than half the cost of a CD at Musica you can now have legal access to all the music you could want. South Africa’s music store scenario was ready for a shake-up, and we believe Simfy is a great service for the music lovers out there.
So will you pay R60 a month for all you can eat music? If you have tried Simfy, let us know what you think so far in the comments.