Safaricom’s SKIZA Music Service Has 11 Million Customers & 132,000 Songs
Earlier today I received a press release that Safaricom has increased the royalties that they are paying Kenyan artists will earn from their SKIZA mobile music platform from 22% to 30%, a increase of 36%. This is a good thing when you look at it but what really caught my eye was the number of Safaricom subscribers who actually use the service who are now 11 million according to Safaricom. In addition, SKIZA has over 132,000 songs available for download which is a staggering number, all things considered.
In looking at these numbers for SKIZA which is Safaricom’s ringback service it goes to show that the room for growth on mobile entertainment offerings that work on all mobile devices and not just newfangled smartphones is very much alive and well. The way SKIZA works is that content service providers act as intermediaries to the Kenyan artists who want to load their content on the platform.
In the same press release, Safaricom also indicated that Kenyan artists can now keep track of their SKIZA income by dialing *622# or by visiting www.skiza.com. This will give them real-time access to their earnings status which previously required them to get this information from their respective SKIZA content service providers. This is great news since there have been instances in the past when royalties have not been paid to Kenyan artists on time and in full leading to legal issues that caught the attention of mainstream media.
One caveat to the SKIZA service is that Safaricom continues to make the lion share of the revenue earned from music downloads. This is the classic scenario with most mobile networks globally where billing is provided via airtime or mobile money for mobile content offerings on their network. This means that content service providers and artists essentially share what remains after deductions that go to Safaricom and taxes. Each SKIZA tune at is sold at Kes. 0.75 for local content and Kes. 1.00 for premium (international) content on a daily basis.