Safaricom launches Video Streaming Platform “Baze”, but is it necessary?

Safaricom has entered into the video subscription market and launched “Baze”. The platform joins the rest of existing platforms with Viusasa being widely recognized. Viusasa enjoys the “First Mover” advantage since it was the first significant platform to be launched. “Baze” promises to offer an on-demand video streaming service with a variety of genres such as music lifestyle and music. It even promises to offer exclusive content before it is released on other platforms. The platform is designed for mobile applications and is available on a web browser. To access it visit it here. For more insight on its comparison with existing Viusasa, read here. Safaricom launches Video Streaming Platform “Baze”, but is it necessary?

Safaricom has been known for trying new things albeit not so successful. From Blaze Card to MPESA card and heir recently retired music streaming service dubbed “Songa”. With the introduction of Baze, I am not convinced that it is necessary. The value proposition for content creators seems promising with a 60-40 % revenue split between Safaricom and the Content Creator. The viewer is also given an attractive low entrance fee of Kshs. 10 a day among other subscriptions. So how does Baze survive in a very competitive market offering several platforms that offer content for free? Do we really need another platform? How will Baze make me come back a second day to watch content? Even with Viusasa, I have been unable to go back after it launched because there is nothing there for me to watch. I have always maintained that the existence of several types of milk may not necessitate the need to create a new flavour of milk. The cake may be big for everyone to eat but sometimes, you may not be even hungry. Safaricom launches Video Streaming Platform “Baze”, but is it necessary?


On Viusasa, some of the content offered is already available on other platforms such as Youtube for free. The promise of offering exclusive content requires a lot of content from creators which is a long-term process. Currently, majority of the content on Baze is available elsewhere so I am struggling to understand the approach here. Who in their right mind will pay to watch for content that can be downloaded for free online? Netflix for instance, invests in the production of high-quality content, and they have been very successful in attracting new customers. While the platform has content that is already published elsewhere, it prides itself in offering exclusive in-house content which is its competitive advantage. The content on the platform has to be exclusive in nature to stand out in this competitive market. It remains unclear if the platform will sponsor the creation of quality content. The Kenyan consumer is critical and will be reluctant to pay for content that lacks novelty. Safaricom will have to work hard to ensure that its consumers are engaged on the platform. Otherwise, the platform may not survive the demanding video-on demand consumer market. In my opinion, there is a threshold of content quality that ought to be paid for. While the threshold is determined by the platform moderator, the audience will be keen to examine the kind of quality presented. Safaricom launches Video Streaming Platform “Baze”, but is it necessary ?


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