Vodacom, Deezer tie the music-streaming knot for South Africans


Vodacom Deezer deal

In March this year we reported that South African telecom giant Vodacom is looking to introduce a new music streaming service, Spotify.

Earlier this week, news broke that South African telecoms company Vodacom, and French-based music streaming company Deezer, were in talks to boost the latter’s penetration of the African continent. Now, the arrangement has today been made official.

The arrangement comes after Deezer — Spotify and Pandora’s main international rival in a rather crowded music streaming market — made intents to break into the South African market clear. The site will now have a boquet of around 32.5-million Vodacom subscribers to court, with 17-million of those using Vodacom’s data network.

The deal will allow Vodacom subscribers access to Deezer’s extensive array of music on its Premium+ platform for free for one month. Usually, Deezer’s trial period lasts just 15 days.

In addition, once the free month has passed, users wishing to remain with the service will pay R60/month, which will be deducted from their airtime (if prepaid) or added to the contract bill.

Perhaps the most unattractive part of the deal is that normal data rates will apply — so essentially, the free month of Deezer Premium+ access merely covers the subscription fee, and not the greater fee of data traffic. But users will be happy to note that international streaming sites are looking towards Africa for new partnerships.

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, South Africans spent R90-million (US$8.4-million) on digital music in 2012, about 7.3% of the country’s recorded-music market.

To activate, navigate to Vodacom’s new Deezer portal and follow the steps.

This is a milestone for South Africa’s online market. Perhaps it could nudge the telecom giant (and its competitors) to look to more international services like Video-On-Demand services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.



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