Bozza is a new application launched in South Africa, specifically aimed at musicians, poets, filmmakers and artists. The application allows them to self-publish their content and earn a 50% revenue share off their channels.
Within three days of its launch on MXit platform, there were 40 000 downloads, the number rising to 170 000 within three months! This success shows that there is a large market for African content. The content (music tracks, videos, poems, football news, animated clips, peer-to-peer learning, etc.) is free to the end-user and is compressed in a way that users avoid high data charges, but without compromising on the quality of viewing or listening.
Currently, Bozza has 8 full time team members and they receive funding by a VC company and two angel investors. It also has 300+ artists, poets and filmmakers, and continues to recruit from Africa. It receives most of its content from South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya with popular categories being poetry and music. The beta app was released on 23 December last year and, followed by “rigorous testing”, was updated in functionality, look and feel, to produce the app that is now available for download at http://bozza.mobi.”
According to Head of brand strategy for Bozza, Catherine Lückhoff, the app is the first of its kind in the world. “We are not aware of any other competition. It is also important to note that the Bozza application is available globally from Bozza.mobi.” Catherine told HumanIPO. Although they claim to have no competition, both Zikify of Uganda, and Nokia Music store are some of the examples that do offer services close to what Bozza does. ArtistDirect of the USA can also be termed as Bozza’s closest competitor outside Africa.
Asked how they regulate the materials being uploaded to avoid impersonation and explicit content, Catherine replied, “Bozza currently curates the content on the application. Each channel owner is also required to sign a contract with Bozza stipulating that they own the rights to the content they are submitting to the platform.”
In future, Bozza intends to include an m-commerce component where each channel becomes a shopfront where an artist will give their music and videos for free, but will be able to sell merchandise and concert tickets providing them with an additional platform for exposure. Catherine also added that, “Bozza is currently focusing on expanding the footprint of the mobile application (note not website) and the content offering in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
Bozza is also being integrated into the Vodacom app store and Nokia OVI store. Surprisingly one of the most popular feature appears to be the poetry segment. The poetry group on PEPtxt has over 8000 users, who can submit poems which will soon be featured on the PEPtxt channel on Bozza. To date more than 2000 poems have been submitted.
Bozza is just one among many examples African startups, promoting the rich content of the continent, that is yet to be exposed and utilized to its full potential.