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MTN demos VoD over LTE

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MTN showcased the benefits of FrontRow when it streamed high bandwidth video content onto multiple mobile devices using its video on demand (VOD) offering.

The demonstration of FrontRow capabilities on MTN’s new generation network was demonstrated at a media briefing held at MTN head offices in Fairlands, Johannesburg.

MTN has launched its subscription-based video on demand (VOD) service last year for the launch price of R179 or R399 a month inclusive of a 10GB data bundle for streaming and viewing. FrontRow gives all customers regardless of which network they subscribe with access to thousands of movies and their favourite television series on up to five different devices, one device at a time.

FrontRow has a video music video catalogue that is updated month on month.

Customers who have subscribed to MTN FrontRow Club can view content via their browser on the MTN website, or through their iOS or Android mobile devices.

Larry Annetts, Chief Marketing Officer: MTN South Africa, says there are a number of factors that sets MTN FrontRow apart from other similar products in the market.

“With FrontRow, subscribers can link up to five different devices which ensures that streaming and viewing of content is not restricted to one deviceFrontRow has more compelling material as it sources content from six studios compared to four studios that other providers have. This explains why MTN Front Row has exclusive access to popular series that are not available on TV, namely Black Sails and Power. These products enjoy impressive TV ratings abroad and we hope that our customers will enjoy them,” said Annetts.

He said that the substantial investment that MTN has made over the years in improving and optimising its network is paying off. “Value added services such as VOD require high performing networks to operate optimally. We are proud of the strides we have made to ensure that we provide our customers with the platform that enables them to optimally enjoy our products and solutions by providing them with technology that gives them a seamless and enhanced lifestyle experience.

Another key differentiator is our competitive subscription pricing which comes inclusive with 10GB of data bundles. MTN has introduced special data streaming bundles to ensure that its customers can top up data at affordable rates when they have run out,” Annetts added.

He said the beauty about FrontRow is that it leverages on the ubiquity of mobile devices by giving subscribers the opportunity to stream and consume content whenever and wherever they are, unrestricted by broadcast schedules.

“Consumers consume content anywhere and everywhere and therefore they demand access to content on their devices. At MTN we believe that this transformative evolution will redefine the world of broadcast and will give customers a world of options over and above what is currently available,” Annetts concluded.

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Arts and Entertainment

Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, announce big streaming deals

Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

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Cell C, Vodacom and MTN have all announced new data offerings designed to increase use of social media and streaming services on their networks.

Cell C has announced that, for the next three months, it will offer all customers free streaming on black, SA’s newest video-on-demand platform. Cell C customers can stream series, movies, music, kids’ entertainment, sport, news, and live TV channels on their mobile devices without being.

“We know the biggest hurdle to gaining access to streaming content is the data component, and so for the next three months, any existing or new black customer that is also on the Cell C network will not have to have data to be able to download or stream their shows,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Any Cell C customer, whether prepaid or contract, will have access to this promotion, which kicks off on 7 May and will run until Friday, 10 August. There is no opt in required. In other words, browsing the black platform has also been zero rated, so customers looking around to see what is available will also not be charged for data if they are on Cell C. However, clicking through to the betting platform and the ticketing service will be charged according to the customer’s data plan. National data roaming is also not included in this promotion. so black customers that are on other networks will not benefit from the free data promotion.

“Our promise to our customer is the affordability and flexibility to pay what you want; for what you want; however long you want. Go on, sign up for the 7-day free trial, and start binge-ing with black,” says black Chief Executive, Surie Ramasary.

Customers can watch blockbuster movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi; kids’ animated movie Ferdinand; and the comedy-remake, Jumanji, starring Dwayne Johnson. black series include the multiple award winning show The Fixer, starring Kerry Washington.

With flexible packages from R25 per movie rental or R5 per day for a whole day streaming a football club channel, customers have a range of options.

For more information on how to sign up for black and take advantage of this promotion, visit www.black.co.za or www.cellc.co.za.


MTN goes social

MTN has introduced a range of social bundles starting from R1 a day.  The bundles give new and existing customers affordable access to four social media platforms, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Customers can use the social bundle data allocation without affecting their regular in-bundle data. The bundles cover daily, weekly and monthly expiry rates, allowing customers to choose bundles best suited for their specific usage needs and their budgets.

“There’s been a marked increase in the consumption of social media and data services, so these social bundles are designed to meet those changing customer needs,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN South Africa. “By offering a variety of expiry periods, we put the control in the hands of our customers, so they can choose to buy just for the day or to stay connected for a week or a month.”

Moderate users can stay in touch with family and friends via WhatsApp for as little as R1 per day, while more medium and heavy users can opt for social bundles that retail at R5 and R10.

To give the customer more control over their usage, the social bundles will send notifications confirming bundle purchase, expiry and depletion notifications.

The social bundles are available on the MyMTN app or via USSD.

The table below illustrates the social bundle rates:

Facebook YouTube WhatsApp Twitter
Duration Data Price Data Price Data Price Data Price
Daily 100MB R5 100MB R5 20MB R1 20MB R1
Weekly 500MB R20 500MB R20 100MB R5 100MB R5
Monthly 1G R50 1G R50 1GB R10 1GB R10

Tickets for Vodacom 

Meanwhile, Vodacom is introducing a data bundle called “Ticket”, which offers overall usage of a range of apps, through categorised bundles, to Prepaid and Hybrid (Top-up) customers through the Vodacom Just4U platform. Ticket bundles offer up to four times the amount of data compared to standard bundles and are also priced for the best scenario, offering data bundles that are specifically tailored to the usage behaviour of the customer.

“Vodacom Ticket will offer customers a simpler way of accessing data bundles for a range of categories, allowing them to stay within their data budget,” says Nyimpini Mabunda, Vodacom’s Chief Officer: Consumer Business Unit.” Vodacom is continuously looking to deliver value for money offerings to our customers, and Ticket is no different. Our customers can engage in the things they love the most without the fear of spending more than they wanted to. That is what Vodacom’s Ticket bundle is ultimately looking to achieve so watch this space as we continue to evolve the product.“

Vodacom says it has formed partnerships with multiple market-leading streaming and digital apps to ensure that customers receive the best value for their data when posting pictures, watching videos, playing games and listening to music.

The service provides full data access to digital and entertainment content through four Ticket categories:

·        Video Ticket (for VuClip Videos, DStv, Netflix, YouTube and Showmax)

·        Music Ticket (for Deezer, Apple Music and Joox)

·        Social Ticket (for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter)

·        Gaming Ticket (for VuClip Games, Vlive Games, SGN and Gamemine)

By partnering with app brands that customers enjoy the most, says Vodacom, it is able to give customers access to what they love, for less, without the limitation of restricted data access to a single pre-assigned app.

For instance, customers looking to binge on the latest series on Netflix, “update their tweeps on their tweleb lifestyles” (Vodacom’s words!) or listen to a hot new track on Deezer, can purchase a Ticket for any of the four available categories via Just4U by dialling *123# from a Vodacom Smartphone. Vodacom’s Ticket bundles enable customers to access platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, through a single Social Ticket.

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Arts and Entertainment

SA in finals of Midem artist accelerator

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Midem has announced the 11 finalists in the Midem Artist Accelerator (MAA), the international music career booster to fast-track talent on the world stage, and it includes three South African artists.

The 2018 finalists are: AKA (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; AGAR AGAR (France), pop; BEZ (Nigeria), world; BIGSTAR (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; CLIENT LIAISON (Australia), pop; DAMIAN LYNN (Switzerland), pop; DYLAN WILLIAMS (United Kingdom), R’n’B/hip- hop/urban; HAUTE (France), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; HYPHEN HYPHEN (France), pop; LA DAME BLANCHE (Cuba), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; and T$HEGO (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban.

Home of the global music community, Midem takes place in Cannes, France, from 5 to 8 June.

Now in its fourth year, the MAA has a solid track record for bringing rising talent to a wider global audience. Following the 2017 edition, participating artists BE CHARLOTTE signed to Columbia Deutschland/Sony Music Germany while IRIS GOLD signed a global deal with Playground Music Scandinavia after being both spotted in Cannes. Another MAA alumni M.ANIFEST, has been booked for several festivals and also struck a deal with an experienced music consultant who helped him negotiate recording contracts for singles and for music placements in film.

This year’s MAA Artist Ambassador, South-African DJ and producer BLACK COFFEE will be keynoting in Cannes and sharing his know-how with the 11 hot new acts. “As Midem puts the spotlight on Africa’s bourgeoning music scene, I’m truly honoured to be this year’s Artist Ambassador of the Midem Artist Accelerator. I’m thrilled to discover the 2018 finalists and be able to share with them my own experience as an artist,” said BLACK COFFEE.

All finalists will perform live on the Midem Beach in Cannes in a series of concerts during the event, and will benefit from a tailored programme during the tradeshow, including coaching sessions and unique networking opportunities.

Discover the 11 finalists and vote for your favourite here before 6 May. The artist with the most votes will play live at the Midem 2018 Opening Night Party.

The finalists also have a unique opportunity to be recognised and mentored by a Committee of execs from UTA, Viacom, OkayAfrica & more.

The Artistic Committee of top-notch industry players for the 2018 MAA includes: Abiola Oke, CEO & Publisher, OkayAfrica (USA/Africa); Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa/BET International (Africa); Christian Bernhardt, Agent, United Talent Agency (USA); Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director & CEO, Universal Music Group South Asia/EMI Music South Asia/Enchanted Valley Carnival (India); Emmylou Prevett, Creative Content & Programming Manager, Vevo (France); Julian Marshall, Global Head of Content, Shazam (UK); Leila Cobo, Executive Director of Latin content and programming, Billboard (USA); Patrik Larsson, A&R and Label Manager, Playground Music Scandinavia (Sweden); Rob Hallett, Founder, Robomagic (UK); Willy Ehmann, Artist Manager (Germany); Yoon-Young Kong, Founder and Executive Producer, Zandari Festa (South Korea); and Yoshinari Hirayama, Promotion & Marketing Chief Manager, Creativeman (Japan).

In addition, the finalists will receive further mentoring from a pool of experts as part of their Midem experience. Among those offering mentoring services are: Data Analytics (real–time charts, playlists, airplay and social monitoring) by David Weiszfeld, Founder & CEO of Soundcharts, the Market Intelligence platform for the Music Industry; navigating the streaming services and the use of the Spotify platform with Wilbert Mutsaers, Head of Spotify Benelux, Shows and Editorial; free legal consultation from the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL); the use of a messenger bot and fan messaging platform with Sam Taylor, COO of I AM POP. Finalists will also have access to the Global Sync and Brands Summit, the gathering of the music supervision community, and to a series of dedicated workshops around music sync and placements, digital and social media strategy, and the artist-fan relationship.

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