Mobile network MTN recently bought music streaming Simfy Africa. Now it’s using its new acquisition to launch a novel take on a streaming service — which it’s calling a ‘world first’ called MusicTime. As the name suggests, the service lets users buy streaming access by time.
MTN subscribers can buy 120 minutes of access to the service for R5 or 300 minutes for R10 — this includes the data needed for streaming. Both packages are valid for a week from purchase. Customers can buy packages with their MTN airtime. In order to get consumers to try out the service, MTN is offering 60 minutes for free (also valid for a week).
Users need to download the MusicTime app to get started. It’s available for Android or iOS devices. Though we imagine if you’re an iPhone owner keen on streaming you’re probably already spending R60 a month on Apple Music or Spotify.
Speaking of Spotify, in an effort to acquire new South African users (and hopefully get them hooked), the world’s biggest streaming service is offering new users their first three months of Spotify Premium for R6 a month, after which the usual R60 rate applies.
“Data costs and the high costs of the top end music streaming products mean that the majority of our customers don’t have an affordable option for digital music and Simfy Africa came with the solution we were looking for,” says MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan.
The success of MusicTime will likely come down to the quality of the catalogue on offer. Assuming the new releases are plentiful and the local catalogue deep, it could prove an attractive option for the price sensitive.
Of course, we’re inclined to suggest those people looking to stream music on the cheap investigate a Rain SIM card, an Apple Music or Spotify account and get to grips with the save-for-offline-listening mechanism of either… but then, we’re also aware we live in a middle-class bubble where R60 a month isn’t prohibitive and we have regular access to Wi-Fi.