Ivory Coast-based mobile content platform StarNews Mobile has agreed a group-wide deal with the Orange Content unit of Orange to provide its video platform to the telco’s 150 million subscribers across 15 countries in Africa.
Africa has 650 million mobile customers, with the vast majority receiving their daily news and information via their mobiles. While video streaming has a lot of promise on the continent, it is being held back by high costs. A decent Internet-enabled phone is still prohibitively expensive for many Africans – up to 400 per cent of a customer’s monthly income in many countries. Data prices are also high – with data costing more in Africa than on any other continent according to the GSMA. These factors create a significant market barrier to the development of the creative industries in Africa.
StarNews Mobile is a network of mobile video channels that allows celebrities and brands to monetise their fan bases in Africa. It works with popular local and international stars to create exclusive and addictive short videos that fans are willing to pay for. The company uses proprietary technology to create a two-sided marketplace, helping content creators make money, while allowing consumers to enjoy steaming content at affordable prices. Content from a variety of channels can be viewed, including daily news, entertainment, sports, fashion, cooking and more.
The company initially launched in the Ivory Coast in 2017 and today is available in Cameroon, Congo, South Africa and Nigeria. It has established partnerships with large pan-African mobile operators such as MTN, Moov and now Orange, as well as with entertainment giants such as Universal Music and Sony, in addition to hundreds of home-grown African creatives. In its next phase, it has plans to roll out in Ghana, Benin and Senegal.
This latest partnership with Orange is a significant step in StarNews Mobile’s expansion, according to CEO Guy Kamgaing, helping it better address the francophone markets of Africa. “As StarNews services become more accessible and provide a one-of-kind streaming experience to people through an affordable subscription fee, we believe consumption of local content over mobile in Africa will take off in a massive way,” he commented. “Having now worked with Orange in Cameroon for over a year, they have shown us their dedication to support this movement and with their pan-African footprint, we will be able to quickly offer this same opportunity to any local content creator from Douala today to Abidjan, Dakar, Bamako, Conakry or Madagascar tomorrow.”