Universal Music Group has teamed with Samsung to launch a pan-African mobile music service entitled the Kleek, which was officially unveiled on 13th March at the Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.
The free to access service is to initially be rolled out in five African markets: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola, with mobile handset manufacturer Samsung the exclusive smart phone partner for a set two-year period.
Kleek will be accessible across all African mobile networks and will come preinstalled on a range of Samsung smart phone devices, which will be made available to purchase throughout the continent within the next few months. At present, the service is only accessible via Google Play and will debut on the Samsung Play Store next week, according to Universal.
“It’s easy to turn on digital services in new markets,” said Francis Keeling, the London-based global head of the digital business at Universal. “The difference is, are they going to have local content, editorial teams and realistic pricing, along with active marketing. We looked at the market for a long time and decided that Africa needed its own service, aimed at African consumers.”
Read more on the event launch here
Universal says it wants to sign other major record companies to The Kleek and has also struck agreements with a number of African labels. Rather than offering downloads, like iTunes, or on-demand streaming, like Deezer and Spotify, another digital service that is popular in developed markets, The Kleek offers a radiolike experience.
Users of the service can choose from playlists consisting of local music or international hits, interspersed with artist interviews, concert reviews and gossip, streamed to cellphones. Because of limited bandwidth, the recordings are short, generally 10 minutes or less.
Read the full article by Eric PFanner of the New York Times here