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By 14 September 2012 | Categories: news

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Simfy, the online music streaming service that's now available in SA, is certainly one of the greatest things we've come across all year. For the price of half a CD (R60) per month, you have over 18 million tracks available to stream. TechSmart talked to Davin Mole, CEO of Simfy Africa, about this new service.

TechSmart: Lots of other music streaming services excludes SA in their service. Why did you decide to go for the local market?

Davin Mole: The other services all have their geographic comfort zones and presumably look upon Africa as a lower priority than say Europe or Asia. As Exactmobile [Simfy Africa is a joint venture between Simfy in Germany and eXactmobile in SA] have been selling content in SA since 2000 and hence it made a lot of sense to us that now was the right time to deliver a cutting edge streaming product to the local market.

Within 5 to 10 years we are confident that nearly all music will be enjoyed through streaming and so it was also a case of as soon as we were ready, we got cracking.

R60 to subscribe per month - how did you decide on that figure?

The price was derived from a combination of the licensing costs we need to pay as well as what we felt would be an 'everyone welcome' price point. Roughly speaking, the price is about half what one would pay in Europe for the same service so it represents excellent value in our opinion.

If I was to stream music from Simfy Africa for one hour, how much data would I use?

You would use about 85 MB in an hour. In due course we anticipate data costs will be so low that users will consume the music online. However at present if users are not on uncapped packages what we are encouraging them to do (and what they are doing very successfully already) is to download as much music as they can to offline mode.

By doing so they can then listen to a lot of music via the desktop app and the mobile apps without needing to stream it each time.

Why is a cellphone number needed when signing up?

We offer users a free 14 day trial so we need a unique way to identify people to prevent abuse of the free trials. Emails are too easy to create and hence the cellphone number is by far the best way to achieve the authentication we need.

There are a number of South African artists on your service. How do you make sure they are paid correctly?

Our agreements are with the artists' record labels, who will in turn be responsible for ensuring the artists get paid.

If I am a small label or artist, how do I get my music on Simfy?

Email us at music@simfyafrica.com and our licensing team will assist.

You have a spectacular selection of music (18 million tracks and counting), but seriously, where are The Beatles and Led Zep?

You will need to ask them this question! For various reasons, some artists have not yet made their music available for streaming but they are an increasingly tiny minority so in time, we anticipate closing out the few gaps that we have in the catalogue.

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