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How bongo artistes miss millions from caller-tune deal!

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Davesto, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Davesto

    Davesto JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2012
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    By Edward Qorro, The Citizen Reporter
    Dar es Salaam. Music by young
    generation artistes, popularly known as
    Bongo Flava, is reportedly minting
    millions for a foreign company in a
    lucrative ringtones and cellulartunes
    business while little, if anything, goes to
    the pockets of local copyright holders.
    Investigations conducted by The Citizen
    have established that the company,
    OnMobile, which has headquarters in
    Bangalore, India, works in collaboration
    with two major mobile service providers,
    Vodacom Tanzania and Airtel.
    Each callerback tune costs Sh300. Our
    source, who asked not to be mentioned,
    hinted that from the business, Vodacom
    and Airtel get between Sh20 million and
    Sh40 million daily, respectively.
    Going by the above estimates, the two
    companies are earning an annual total of
    about Sh22 billion. But the mobile firms
    could not confirm this amount.
    Officials from both companies, however,
    admitted they have working relations
    with OnMobile, but they declined to
    reveal to The Citizen how much they
    generate from the business and how
    proceeds are shared.
    Information we obtained indicates that
    the two mobile phones firms retain
    between 75 and 80 per cent of the total
    sales, while OnMobile takes the rest.
    But the line of distribution does not end
    there, as there is another locally
    registered and licensed company, Push
    Mobile, which, after getting the money,
    retains 40 per cent while the artiste gets
    seven per cent as the rest goes to
    Asked of the Sh8 billion they reportedly
    generate from the business annually,
    Vodacom’s chief for marketing and
    corporate affairs, Ms Mwamvita
    Makamba, could neither admit nor deny
    it. She, however, maintained that
    Vodacom was not privy to the
    arrangements between their content
    providers (not necessarily OnMobile) and
    the musicians.
    “Much as we would enjoy seeing every
    stakeholder get fair returns of their
    works, it is really not our business to get
    involved with artistes-provider
    commercial relationships. The whole
    thing is dictated by the market,” she told
    The Citizen.
    For her part, Airtel’s regulatory and
    corporate communications director, Ms
    Beatrice Singano, confided to this
    reporter that they had an agreement
    with OnMobile to provide value added
    services (VAS) as it was common practice
    with any contract. She, however,
    maintained that she was obliged not to
    reveal the details to any third party.
    Regarding the information that her firm
    is raking in about Sh15 billion annually
    from the callback tunes business, Ms
    Singano was categorical that she would
    not share that information for obvious
    reasons, saying that it was still important
    to understand that value added services
    revenue constitutes varied offerings
    beyond call back tunes.
    “We are not in a position to scrutinise
    revenue sharing mechanisms between
    third parties. We believe that there are
    good legal frameworks in Tanzania that
    can arbitrate any disputes and ensure
    appropriate gaps are closed,” said Ms
    According to our source, in the late
    2000, any recording artiste had to strike
    a deal with two local companies – Push
    Mobile or Spice – if he or she wanted to
    sell their songs as ringback tones, but
    the trend has since changed after
    OnMobile came on board.
    “As for now, an artiste has to sign a
    contract with Push Mobile which now
    has to deal with OnMobile which has a
    contract with Vodacom and Airtel in the
    ringtone business... but OnMobile does
    not have the licence to operate in the
    country,” maintained the source.
    A deal between the foreign company on
    the one hand and Airtel and Vodacom on
    the other, was struck in 2011, this paper
    can reveal.
    OnMobile is said to have entered into an
    agreement to provide technical service
    platforms for contents, including music
    from local artistes, to Vodacom Tanzania
    and Airtel Tanzania.
    This paper has reliably learnt that
    Tanzania Communications Regulatory
    Authority (TCRA) met with OnMobile
    officials on Tuesday last week.
    Contacted for comments on what
    transpired from the meeting, TCRA
    director general, Prof John Nkoma, told
    The Citizen that licensing was a process
    and it was still ongoing.
    For his part, Mr Biswajit Nandi,
    OnMobile’s senior director for business
    development in Africa initially told this
    paper that they lodged an application for
    an “Application Services Licence” with
    TCRA in November 2011, adding that an
    acknowledgement of the same has been
    He further explained that OnMobile’s
    licence application is being studied and
    the firm would be updated of any
    progress at the TCRA.
    The managing director of Push Mobile
    Media, who are content providers for
    Airtel and Vodacom, Mr Freddie Manento,
    referred this reporter to the two
    companies, saying that they were in a
    better position to know the status of
    Ms Makamba admitted they had
    arrangements with OnMobile to provide
    them with technical service platforms for
    contents that are ordinarily provided by
    other entities that are duly licensed for
    the purpose.
    “OnMobile have recently requested to be
    aggregators of contents, the service
    which they provide to other Vodafone
    entities and we would be happy to let
    them perform it for us, but they are yet
    to provide us with a proof of their TCRA
    licence to that effect,” she said.
    Ms Makamba, however, noted that her
    office understood that there was still
    lack of clarity with regard to the level of
    telecoms licensing required by entities,
    which provide contents through mobile
    “But we have had our standard of
    requiring an aggregator to possess at
    least an application services licence...
    hence our stance of requiring them to
    acquire it before we enter into that
    aggregation relationship,” she said,
    “They do not need sector licence to
    provide us with technical service
    platform. In fact, with content provision
    you only need sector licence if you are to
    deal directly with customers. If they only
    supply to operators who will provide to
    customers they would not need a sector
    licence. In short, so far we haven’t
    engaged them for services that require
    sector licence.”
    Reached for comment, deputy minister
    for Science and Technology January
    Makamba maintained that TCRA ought to
    explain why OnMobile was operating
    without a licence.
    “We wrote to TCRA on Friday to establish
    the operations of the company and from
    there we will be able to issue the
    government stance,” added the minister
  2. Deo Corleone

    Deo Corleone JF-Expert Member

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  3. mtu chake

    mtu chake JF-Expert Member

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  4. Powder

    Powder JF-Expert Member

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    FA na AY wamwashitaki tigo wanataka 2 billions kama fidia.....na watachukua mzigo.
  5. J

    Jaslaws JF-Expert Member

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    Walitaka 4b ila mahakama ime award 2b
  6. muhomakilo jr

    muhomakilo jr JF-Expert Member

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    Hongera kwao!...
  7. Deo Corleone

    Deo Corleone JF-Expert Member

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    Jamaa wamepiga mpunga mrefu sana
  8. rubii

    rubii JF-Expert Member

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    Basi sawaa
  9. mr gentleman

    mr gentleman JF-Expert Member

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    Hatari sana