Tuluntulu, a mobile streaming platform app that enables its users to watch TV anywhere and anytime, continues to grow in popularity in Africa while video-on-demand (VoD) is still in its infancy as customers are still deciding on whether to embrace VoD. By Gugu Lourie
Dubbed the ‘perfect platform for content owners‘, the app has now been downloaded over 320,000 versus 210, 000 times in September 2015 in about 154 countries. The most popular being South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.
The app enables users to have great content in the palm of theirs hands 24/7 whether they’re on a long commute on way home, stuck in a queue, or just hanging out.
The cumulative usage numbers of the Tuluntulu app since launch in August 2014 has reached over 10 million screen views.
Since launch in August 2014, Tuluntulu has more than 2 million sessions, with over 320, 000 active users and over 84% returning users.
The app receives 41 000 monthly unique users and over 550,000 screen views per month.
Tuluntulu is a mobile content platform targeting audiences in Africa, and globally, with African focused content.
It was founded by Pierre van der Hoven, a serial media entrepreneur who was involved in starting numerous media companies including eTV, and YFM.
Last year, the company was named by the Unilever Foundry 50 as one of the top 50 start-ups in the world.
The first, and only one from Africa.
The inaugural Unilever Foundry 50 is an initiative to find the world’s top 50 marketing technology startups that are innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with people.
The Tuluntulu app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play and App stores. The usage is free (no subscriptions), 100% free on Wi-Fi, with data costs only if connected via a mobile network (low data setting consumes +-50MB/hr).
“The “FREE” business model is designed to maximize audience reach and engagement,” says van der Hoven.
Tuluntulu currently has 17 x 24/7 streaming TV channels; News (Al Jazeera, ANN7, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America), Education (SABC Education, BrainBoosters, Spark4U), Documentaries (Afridocs), Movies (Nolly4U), Series (AfrikTales), Sport (AfricaSport4U), Fashion (Fleur), Lifestyle (Africa4U), Children (SABC Children), Comedy (Good4U), Music (Mafrik), and Religion (ELev8). Tuluntulu also has 11 streaming radio stations.
The app displays the channels’ Twitter feed thereby providing live user or channel interaction (second screen).
The user can personalise the app by selecting “Favourite” channels, and users can choose high or low profiles (data consumption and quality changes) in order to save data costs or increase picture quality.
Users can register directly or via Facebook, which will provide “push” marketing options in order to drive user engagement. Items
can be shared via social media.
Tuluntulu, which is one of fastest growing content apps aimed at Africa, is eyeing more growth in the African market as the continent is experiencing explosive growth in mobile penetration and usage, driven by the decreasing cost of smartphones, tablets and data.
It seems there is no end in sight for Tuluntulu’s growth, but the VoD industry may cut its growth.
The South African market has seen earlier this month the arrival of Netflix to compete with local VoD players such as Naspers’ ShowMax, Times Media’s VIDI, MTN’s VU and PCCW Global’s ONTAPtv.com.
For now, though, VoD hasn’t challenged even the incumbent pay-tv operator MultiChoice, which also owns ShowMax.
So far, Tuluntulu seems to indicate that linear TV will survive and thrive online while competing with VoD market.