Everybody’s going streaming but it’s usually important that you don’t cross the streams. Vodacom’s new offering, called Vodacom Video Play, is an unusual take on mobile videos in that Vodacom are taking the cost-per-MB out of it. As well as the streaming. So it’s more like a smartphone PVR.
Vodacom Video Play will see users selecting and downloading video content to their smartphones and paying less to do so – at least that’s according to Vodacom. Instead of paying for data charges, Video Play will see users paying per minute of video downloaded, to the tune of R5 for 30 minutes in the service’s launch price.
The ‘minutes’ purchased are subtracted according to the length of the video downloaded (3 minutes and 43 seconds will see an equivalent number of minutes and seconds deduct from your available total) and the videos are downloaded overnight, when web traffic is lighter. Once downloaded, they can be viewed as often as the user likes. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?
Well, it can be. Video Play will hinge on whether Vodacom is able to keep compelling new content on their service, something that they have plans to do. Right now though Video Play consists of music videos for the most part, with African and South Africa predominating. Other content is on the way, though Vodacom have not said what it might consist of as yet.
If you’re looking to be an early adopter, then the app is now available on Google’s Play Store as well as BlackBerry’s storefront, with other platforms launching at a later stage. We’ll reserve judgement until after we’ve had a go and then further still, till they get a decent number of videos available. This seems quite rushed, especially coming on the heels of that ShowMax announcement.