Tencent, the Chinese technology Holdings Company in which South Africa’s Naspers holds a significant shareholding, is introducing its music streaming service Joox in South Africa. This is after Joox has proved popular in Asia for a couple of years in countries such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The music streaming service was first launched in 2015 in Hong Kong and has since amassed over 50 million app downloads according to a 2016 study by McKinsey.
Although Joox is in all respects very similar in what it offers in its paid version to other well established music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, it is its focus on local South African music that is likely to differentiate it. Joox partly differentiates itself by offering local music curated playlists such as “The Daily Sun Top 20” as well as Afrikaans music and South African Gospel music charts.
What is interesting with the focus on playlists is that it is relatively similar to South African music streaming service, Nichestreem. NicheStreem specialises in building music streams for niche audiences in emerging markets with their first stream being that of Afrikaans music, named Liedjie.
Joox is available in South Africa on both iOS and Android. Tencent has indicated that a desktop version will likely be available before the end of 2017.
The trouble is that JOOX is now entering a space that Google Music, Apple Music, and Deezer have been playing in for a long time. So having both a premium subscription to Deezer and iTunes I thought I’d see if I really need yet another streaming service.
A VIP membership to JOOX will cost you R59.99 per month which is the same as the base membership for Google Music, Apple Music and Deezer. JOOX does offer you five months of VIP membership for free when you sign up which is a nice bonus.
Signing up is also easy with options for users to link their Facebook or WeChat account to JOOX. Users can also use an email address to create an account.