Tencent CFO Tramayne Monaghan introduces Telkom Music Powered by JOOX

The new music streaming app comes at a time when the cost of data “pinches hard”, says Tramayne.

Telkom Music Powered by JOOX is the newest addition to Telkom Mobile’s product offering. JOOX, which is owned by Tencent Africa, has worked with Telkom Mobile to launch the new music platform, which allows users to stream and download songs while using less data than any other music streaming app.

Tencent Africa CFO Tramayne Monaghan, who is responsible for the marketing, content, technology and product teams at JOOX, says that Tencent built the Telkom Music app with one vision: “to create the most data effective music streaming service in South Africa.

“Music is a passion for South Africans and Telkom wants to ensure its customers get the best value through their media consumption,” he adds.

Right place and time
The introduction of Telkom Music comes at a time when the cost of data “pinches hard” in light of a heavily-hit South African economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Streaming is a very tough vertical to be in,” Tramayne says. “Covid-19 has amplified the need for content, but music is also inherent to socialising and commuting. The pandemic has also put pressure on consumers’ pockets when it comes to paying for services.”

However, Tramayne says that Telkom Music consumes less data than competitors. According to data tests done by Software company Bitcube, Telkom Music consumed just 173MB to stream 100 high-quality songs, Apple Music consumed 1001MB, while Spotify consumed 1112MB and Deezer 564MB.

With lockdown changing the way people connect, Telkom Music will also include “Mods” focused on sharing your music experience, including a button where users can turn their data usage on and off, a “Music Guru” that test your music knowledge against other users, a “Radio” feature that allows you to find new tracks to share, as well as the “Flock” feature that allows users to create playlists together for their next big event – whether in person or virtual.

Telkom also recognises that the landscape of music streaming is changing and highlights that the stand-out feature of its music app is the fact that it focuses on data-saving and shared music experiences between users.

“In true Telkom style, our mission is to leave no man behind and we are thrilled to introduce this offering. We’ve introduced a bouquet of products recently to cater to the content needs of our customers, including a video on-demand and gaming services; and this closes the loop neatly for us from a content viewpoint,” says Telkom’s executive of Smarthome and content, Wanda Mkhize.

Powered by JOOX
The teams at Telkom Mobile and Tencent Africa have put a huge amount of effort into delivering an accessible music streaming product.

Tramayne explains that his team at Tencent built a music-as-a-service platform, where they white-labelled music for Telkom. “We used our architecture, our catalogue, music relationships and our machine learning to build Telkom Music.”

The Tencent team built the front-end of the app from scratch with compression software built in to reduce its size, giving Telkom Music a branded music app with entertainment features bolted in. “We run the tech for them and Telkom provides value to its customers with Free-me data packages and low data streaming,” Tramayne says.

According to ICT journalist Arthur Goldstuck, it is “uniquely adapted to South African requirements, with an SA-centric emphasis on recommended music and highlighted genres, as well as a lower data demand than on any other music streaming app. It thus hits the two most important hot buttons of mobile music streaming in a local context.”

The new music streaming platform will be available from the Huawei AppGallery and Google Play Store.