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With international recognition, Boomplay Music set for bigger exploits

By Chuks Nwanne
13 January 2018   |   4:07 am
In April 2016 when Boomplay Music launched its Boom Player app on Google Play store, there were signs that the music download and streaming platform was aiming for something big.

The Boomplay Music team at the AppsAfrica Award in Cape Town, South Africa

In April 2016 when Boomplay Music launched its Boom Player app on Google Play store, there were signs that the music download and streaming platform was aiming for something big. By the time it reached over 1m downloads in a short time, the picture became clearer.

Since it started operations just over a year ago, Boom Player has been on a runaway success. The service, founded by telecommunications company, TECNO Mobile, now has over 16 million users, compared to 6 million at the end of 2016. The platform currently boasts of 400k+ daily active users, mostly music lovers, who actively stream or download songs and videos of their favourite artistes.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Boomplay Music, which is now considered as Africa’s fastest growing music streaming and download platform, was recently recognised by an independent panel of industry experts at the AppsAfrica Awards in Cape Town, South Africa. A leading pan-African technology news portal and advisory service dedicated to delivering the latest insights on mobile, tech and innovation in Africa, the AppsAfrica Awards aim to celebrate and connect the best in the African mobile and tech ecosystem with global players.

At the 2017 edition of the award, Boomplay Music won the award for the ‘Best African App’ for its unique and user-friendly Boomplay Music application, which gives easy access to millions of songs, videos and entertainment buzz. Nominated in the same category was Carter – SA, Asorbia – Ghana, Truecaller Africa and Feastfox – SA. But Boomplay Music led the pack in the category to become the first on demand music streaming and downloading app to ever win the award.

Speaking on their latest achievement, Regional Manager Boomplay Music for West Africa Oye Akindeinde, revealed, “When we saw the category, I panicked; all the apps were amazing. I felt we had done our homework well enough and we were well received. At the time we received the award, we had 16 million users, now it’s 17 million users. I remember when I was talking to some artistes in September 2015, that we have 200, 000 users, so imagine going from 200,000 to 17 million. We knew there is a criteria for the market, things like battery life, size etc., but when I saw the other nominees, it was frightening. But when they called us up, it was too good to be true. I didn’t even believe it,” he enthused.

For Akindeinde, getting nominated for the award alone was a big deal for the organisation, which is now set to play big in the continent.

“We are already happy being nominated, but winning was the icing on the cake. It shows how much hardwork we have put in and how much resulted to success. For us, this is the beginning. We still have a large gap to fill. As at the last count, Nigeria is 160 million minus those in the diaspora, so when you add those, you would understand. We are just scratching the surface. The work has just started. And we will live up to the expectation. The hope is that we can retain what we’ve done and win many more awards,” he said.

The Computer Science graduate of the University of Lagos, who also holds a Masters Degree in Information System from the University of Hertfordshire, UK, described Boom Player as a unique app that would change the face of the entertainment industry.

“The unique thing about the platform is the ability to find everything in one place. Even with the way we create, you would know that it is not by struggling; we know what’s up in the music scene. We can tell you what song would drop in two weeks time and we go after it. We also know what song users would buy. Because it’s a mobile phone, there is hardly space, but we know how to keep the app not so big; we know how to do different versions of the music. There’s a live version, there is also a premium version with the same amount. We know that students are conscious of their battery as well, so, for us, it’s all about optimizing the app to suit our target audience,” he said.

On the challenges of operating in the industry, the Regional Manager, who is currently pursuing another Masters Degree in Music Business, explained, “the biggest challenge is pirates; the other is data. Most of those that consume music are the youths. With their data plan, they are competing with what to use it for, whether for whatssap or to download a song. Hopefully, in the future, we will see a situation where universities have hotspots where Internet is free; that will help users. At the onset, the biggest challenge was to get license for the content. Those that trusted us from the beginning trusted us; some others get convinced by users,” he said.

As for the obvious competition in the industry, Akindeinde said, “Competition is healthy. For us, everyone is a competitor. If there’s a new competitor and he has only 20,000 users, it is painful to us because they ought to be on our own platform. We look at our own expectations down to Whatssapp; they are taking our data. That’s why we try to make our app better and easier to give the users a reason to use us. We even have a buzz where users can read entertainment news and what is happening; we are trying to create an entertainment ecosystem that exists in one place. So, everything a user wants to do, he can do it there, with that we hope that we are going to get more users. Once we have a monopoly, you stopped being innovative. We like competition and we study our competitors,” he said.

Speaking on how technology has help in the growth and development if the Nigerian entertainment industry, especially in the area of monetizing contents, he said, “it’s been amazing. Through technology, we have been meant to understand that the business in showbizness is needed. Now, we have things like speech sheet; people now understand that beyond writing songs, they can make money from publishing, composing etc. I envy the likes of Banky W, whose song was put into Wedding Party 1; he’s going to make a lot of money. Technology is the in-thing even down to licensing and education.”