Music streaming

Safaricom takes another chance to stream music with BAZE Music at 200 KES per month


A few months ago, Safaricom launched BAZE. It’s a video-on-demand platform, which the carrier said had been in development for more than two years.

According to the telephone company, BAZE’s goal is to “delight our customers by providing a carefully curated collection of video content in their favorite genres.” BAZE will put the entertainment Kenyans want at their fingertips, giving users the freedom, choice and control over the content they consume. ‘

We tested the service and gave our brief review on it, but mostly blamed it for not launching with an app. And so far, users can only access it from the web.

Now some of us know that Safaricom has a music streaming service called BAZE Music.

It looks like it’s a whole different product because, as the name suggests, it’s all about that and doesn’t seem to do much more than you might expect from a robust music streaming platform.

I have played with the app for a good part of the day and have mixed reactions to it. Note, this is not a review, but just a few thoughts on what I’m thinking.

I’m also not sure if Safaricom intends to bring the app to a wider audience, bearing in mind that the operator has reach, and has done so in the past with products such as the M-PESA and mySafaricom application.

Also, this is the part where I mention that Safaricom is not new to music streaming as it has done it before, but the results have been disappointing.

BAZE Music

The app is available on Google Play and has been around for some time. So far, it has garnered over half a million downloads, which is no small feat.

From the start you can tell that this is a Safaricom product with the usual fonts used by the carrier.

The platform as a whole has over 4 million songs.

Chances are you will find your favorite track here, but as you can see some songs especially from the West are missing but I kind of expected it.

All that aside, here’s what you can do with the app (nothing major):

  • You get a one-week pass (unlimited streaming) if you use the app for the first time. This includes 500MB free. You can still stream for free even if you use up the free allowance.
  • Registration is simple, you only need your Safaricom number to create an account.
  • The platform contains 4 million songs, a few videos (must see), albums and curated playlists.
  • The app can create unique daily mixes similar to what Spotify does.
  • You can also create your own playlists.
  • You can set songs as Skiza melodies.
  • You can save songs for offline streaming. However, downloading a single song can take up to five minutes, which is just too long.
  • There are no ads here.

Cost

Once your trial period is over, BAZE Music will ask you to pay for the music. It has four payment plans:

  • Daily at 10 KES / automatic renewal
  • Every day at 10 KES / one off
  • Weekly KES 50 / one off
  • Monthly KES 200 / one-off monthly

Broadcast quality

Safaricom has not specified the streaming quality of BAZE Music, but there are two parameters for this:

  • An Auto setting that adjusts the quality according to the speed of your data.
  • Manual settings where a user chooses “high”, “medium” or “low” qualities.

Skiza

As said, Skiza is here in full force. You can choose a song from an extensive list and make it a reminder tone for your callers if you like that sort of thing.

We understand why Skiza is here, as it has supported artists and the carrier has generated substantial revenue from the service.

It costs 1 KES per day to use a piece of Skiza.

Conclusion

And that’s about it.

There’s not much going on here and we don’t know what the carrier is trying to achieve here. Its old music streaming products have mostly failed with the exception of Skiza, so is BAZE Music going to hack the industry, or is this one of the products that will be phased out in the long run, or pushed back as he did it with Masoko?

You see, people who seriously stream music already know which apps to use, and BAZE Music isn’t one of them. Spotify is incredibly popular here, and it costs just KES 300 per month, with a richer music catalog and features. Apple Music is affordable too, and while it doesn’t match Spotify’s offerings, people who use it swear by it because it works and has almost any song you’d want to play.

We will see how Safaricom presents the platform to customers when it begins to market it, which we know is in the near future.




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