MTNs messaging application, Ayoba (think Sasai) recently announced a partnership with MusicTime that will allow Ayoba users to listen to music at no cost from within the messenger.
MusicTime in Ayoba (MTiA) as the feature will be called is live for Ayoba users in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville, Guinee, Guinee Bissau, Sudan, and Afghanistan.
Each territory offers users free access to 10 playlists with 20 songs in each. In addition, the app has a new mini player that allows you to listen to music while you chat to your contacts with no interruption. Playlists are curated specifically for each territory, and always include music from the region as well.
The big feature that Ayoba is touting is zero-rating the streaming which means Ayoba messenger users will have the ability to stream the playlists even without data.
Whilst I think this is an interesting move that will incentivise people to use Ayoba more, my concern is that the catalogue of music on offer is too limited. 10 playlists of 20 songs each means at most 200 songs. Maybe it’s because I listen to music A LOT – but that seems like a small number from where I am standing.
Of course, the zero-rating gives an incentive to users but for anyone with no problem accessing data, alternatives like Boomplay and Mdundo will offer a lot more music and users won’t need a subscription for those too.
Let’s see what sticks
Reading through the announcement did make me wonder if Buddie Beatz could do something similar with Sasai (or is it vice-versa)? My experience with Buddie Beatz was actually quite positive. I enjoyed using the application and it was quite inexpensive to get into.
If Sasai could offer something similar to MTiA or at least an incentive based trade e.g If a user chats to 5 different people using Sasai they can unlock more music on Buddie Beatz – how much would that move the needle for them? Whilst I don’t have the answers to that question I do think Sasai are already experimenting and trying to acquire users so trying that wouldn’t hurt. Considering that Buddie Beatz has a good local content library it’s worth a shot.
Ultimately though there’s one thing that made me write about MTiA despite it not being available locally. It feels like, Ayoba, Sasai and everyone with dreams to build a Super App is throwing anything and everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.