Wabona partners with Cinemo to bring video-on-demand to Mxit and Android


Wabona provides video-on-demand via the web and has recently announced a partnership that would in effect soon allow the Cape Town-based startup to publish content via Mxit and Android. Together with Cinemo, Wabona hopes to further distribute its library of video content as the mobile market increases.

The new partner, Cinemo, is a startup initiative part of RLabs and has earlier this year launched the first feature film on the popular chat service, Mxit, a platform which also supports apps for smartphones and feature phones.

It currently has around 420 000 users overall and offers films, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), music videos and documentaries to feature phones. As reported by IT Web Africa, Cinemo co-founder Shane Vermooten says “the partnership with Wabona allows us to offer our users quality Pan-African content, and we are looking forward to developing a strong presence across the continent.”

Wabona is a graduate from startup accelerator 88mph’s Cape Town 2013 programme. The company is referred to as being one of the “Africa for Netflix” competitors with the likes of NextSpeel, Buni TV and of course iROKOtv also operating in similar spaces.

Wabona CEO Simbarashe Mabasha notes that this latest partnership is very important in order to further expand both companies’ market as they can reach audiences who don’t have the luxury of owning more expensive internet connected devices:

“Cinemo’s visionary and innovative thinking led to an exciting mobile video content distributing service. This was one of the main reasons we partnered up with them. Wabona sees great value in Cinemo, Cinemo with Wabona content can reach markets and audiences not many VOD services can today. People don’t necessarily need smartphones or fixed line internet to enjoy Wabona, they can watch it via Cinemo anywhere in Africa.”

Although smartphone trends are increasing in usage across Africa, feature phones are still used by the majority of Africans. Smartphones are estimated to hold about 18% of Africa’s mobile phone market and use is rising considerably.



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