We talk to VAS Africa speaker William Thubakgale, COO of QPlay, ahead of the event to hear his thoughts on the future of digital services in Africa.
William will be speaking at VAS Africa this coming 30 June – 1 July 2015 at the Sandton Maslow, Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, view the agenda.
VAS Africa: What is the future of digital services in Africa and what do you think are the top 3 major trends affecting your business in the region?
William Thubakgale: Digitally the future of Africa is looking great seeing a lot of start-ups looking for issues within Africa and from those deriving solutions for Africans. We do have constraints though which include data costs, red tapes and digital piracy.
VAS: Are new online distribution channels providing an opportunity to expand the reach of African artists to international audiences?
WT: Yes, these distribution channels allow international markets to be exposed to African products and services. With this digital phase we have seen how we are living in a global village making it easy and faster to transact with anyone, anywhere.
VAS: Do you feel that mobile is definitely the future of content distribution, not just music but all forms of content ?
WT: Mobile is the future. From what we have seen – a customer first looks up what they are looking to purchase on mobile, researches on tablet and completes a purchase on desktop. If mobile is the first touch point for any conversion then it is definitely the future for content distribution.
VAS: Are there infrastructure concerns and issues surrounding internet speeds and data costs that are hampering the growth of online music in Africa ?
WT: Actually that’s the main constrain we are facing as a continent. As much as we may want consumers to consume music we have to provide, the cost must be reduced to allow users to openly consume music.
VAS: Any particular current or recent projects/success stories that you want to share?
WT: With the massive growth in ecommerce in Africa; I have also become involved in a venture that allows men to purchase Premium Mens Wear – Posh Patterns(www.poshpatterns.co.za) The immense growth has allowed the brand to grow beyond expectation by exporting to 3 countries just after 5 month of release.
VAS: How are smartphones/tablets & cloud services impacting mobile/internet service providers in South Africa?
WT: Consumption is almost immediate; With smartphones always being at hand consumers find it easy to retrieve and use data at any moment. Thus content is king in this space.
VAS: What will be your message at the event?
WT: Let’s celebrate African greatness.
VAS Africa will be taking place this 30 June – 1 July in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, or to register for VAS Africa, please visit: www.comworldseries.com/vasafrica