Today, we would be doing a review of one Boomplay, which is not only one of the fastest-growing music streaming apps in the world but also among the most popular music streaming apps in Africa. Music is a huge part of many people’s lives today. While this has certainly been the case for centuries, how we access music today has changed significantly. We have gone from people having to listen to music only at live concerts and musicals, on gramophones, vinyl, cassettes, CDs, MP3 players to streaming music on specialized platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, Boomplay, YouTube, etc.
Music streaming was made possible following the invention of smartphones and the internet. These two inventions are arguably two of the 21st century’s most influential inventions so far. They have affected just about every industry, and the entertainment is not left out. Streaming services are like music players but they run using an internet connection. What this means is that less storage space is required on your device, as it plays songs directly from the internet.
While services such as Spotify and iTunes are more popular globally, one audio streaming service that has been gathering steam and growing, especially in Africa is Boomplay.
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What is Boomplay?
Boomplay is a music streaming service available on Android, iOS and web devices. The service has a catalog of more than 42 million songs and counting. This means that most songs you might be looking for are available on the platform.
The app covers a wide genre of songs such as RnB, soul, old school, rap, Gospel and so on. Also, there is a rich assortment of African and Foreign artists on the app and all songs are systematically arranged according to the metadata available.
The app mixes music streaming with social functionality using its Buzz feature, which allows users and artists to make posts.
The app is also a good way to keep up with your favorite artists as you can get notifications on new songs or albums they released by simply following them within the app.
Boomplay was launched in 2015 by Transsnet Group (a joint venture between NetEase Group, a Chinese Internet company, and Transsion Holdings Group, the producers of popular smartphone brand—Tecno). At the time of its launch, the app was known as Boom Player and was exclusively preinstalled on Tecno devices. The first device the app was run on was on Boom J7 – Tecno’s first ‘music phone’. The continued pre-installation of the app on newer Tecno devices gave users of the smartphones access to the app. Also, and since Tecno at the time was holding almost half of the low-end smartphone market share, this meant that they were penetrating a ready-made market.
By April 2016, the app was ready for free download on the Google Play Store. It took the app only nine months to cross the one million-download mark. Not long after, there was a rebranding of the app to Boomplay. A new logo and user interface were also introduced. It was at this point that the “buzz” and “follow” features were also added to the app. Today, Boomplay has over 100 million downloads on Google Play and an average rating of 4.4 stars.
Boomplay was made available on the Apple App Store in December 2018. You can also access the app via their web service.
Boomplay currently has about 5 million music tracks. There are 42 million monthly active users with an addition of around 2 million users each month.
An Afrocentric Music App
While Boomplay might not have been developed or distributed by an African company or Africans, it is impossible not to notice the Afro-centric nature of Transsnet’s operations. Of the app’s users, 85 per cent are on the African continent (primarily Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania).
It is not hard to see why this is the case, the app was first launched in Nigeria in 2015. In August 2016, the Kenya office was opened and an operations team was put in place to build the foundation of the business in the region. In April 2017, another office was opened in Tanzania and subsequently—in 2018— another one was opened in Ghana.
From the onset, Boomplay has made its focus to be on local African music and have maintained this status. This African core has made the app hugely popular not just among Africans but among all lovers of African music, especially in the diaspora (who arguably have a harder time getting access to African made music).
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The growth of Boomplay in Africa comes at a time when music streaming services were only beginning to gain popularity in the region. Global big players like Apple Music and Spotify have not really broken into the African content.
They clearly have their eyes set on other markets; Spotify only launched its first service in South Africa in March 2018 and has yet to expand to more countries. Apple’s big hindrance has been its pricing, which is not friendly to inhabitants of the less developed continent.
Deals with Universal Music Group and TuneCore— one of the leading distributors for indie music in the world— increased the catalog of songs available on the platform.
How to Download Boomplay
Downloading Boomplay is actually very easy as the app is readily available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Just type the app’s name (Boomplay) on the search bar of either Google Play or App Store, and click on download to install the app.
Desktop users can also stream their favorite songs using the web version of Boomplay.
Boomplay is majorly a music streaming service and this has been the focus since its inception in 2015. On the app, users can get access to songs, which are sorted in order of charts, artists, albums and year.
On the app, the Trending tab displays the current most popular songs. Users can also search for the songs they desire in the search bar at the top of the screen. Music and videos can be streamed for free on the app without users signing in. For users to download songs for offline listening, signing-in is required.
The music player on the app has a lyric player that syncs the lyrics of the song as the song plays. Song lyrics are available for upload and correction by registered users.
With Charts, you can check out the most-played 100 songs in your region and globally every week.
On the app, there are official Boomplay playlists and users can create theirs too, and make it public.
The video catalog of Boomplay is, however, light on content.
The Buzz feature is a social feature on the app. On the platform, users can make posts ranging from articles, images, music, polls and so on. It also affords users the option of commenting on other posts and following one another. Users can see the playlists and posts of those they follow, as well as send direct messages to one another.
Within Buzz, hashtags are used to monitor topics. The trending topics are usually under the “Hot Hashtags” pane.
Buzz feels like a whole world of its own, as you would find posts on a variety of topics, ranging from entertainment to sports and even serious news events.
Boomplay Media Player
Apart from Boomplay being a music streaming app, it can also be used to play already existing media on phones. It can play video and audio formats seamlessly.
Boomplay runs on a freemium and subscription-based model. The app’s basic features are available for free with advertisements or limitations. Premium users, however, get access to additional features such as download for offline play and ad-free listening.
There are four means of subscription payment on the Boomplay platform, namely Boomcoins, PalmPay, Google Play and the use of bank cards.
Google Pay is the payment service used by Google. Using Google Pay users can make in-app purchases and subscriptions on officially downloaded apps from the Google Play Store.
Using bank cards for payment is a bit more straightforward. All it requires is that you have a valid Verve, MasterCard or Visa debit card with enough money in it to make subscriptions.
Boomcoins are Boomplay’s personalized “currency” within the app. One Boomcoin is equal to one naira (NGN1.00) for Nigerian subscribers. Boomcoins can be gotten within the app by simply going to the Recharge menu.
PalmPay is a third party payment and internet banking service. To use PalmPay, you would need to be a registered user of the service with an active account. PalmPay is available in Nigeria and Ghana and makes use of the local currencies of both countries for payment.
Boomplay Subscription Types
There are three categories of premium subscriptions on Boomplay: One Day, One Week and Monthly.
One Month subscription
The monthly subscription is an automatic service that is renewed every 30 days. US subscribers pay $1.99 per month. Monthly subscription for Nigerian subscribers costs NGN499 or 499 Boomcoins.
Users usually get the first month free on Boomplay monthly subscription. Users can always cancel the automatic renewal within the app.
One Day and One Week subscription
The One Day and One Week subscriptions are one-time subscriptions. The cost of One Day subscription is 49 naira or 49 Boomcoins. One Week subscription costs 199 naira or 199 Boomcoins. These subscription plans are not available to international subscribers.
Boomplay for Artists
Selling music on Boomplay is very easy. You would first need to register for a Boomdistro account. Opening this account allows users to upload tracks, albums, artwork and metadata with ease.
Upon registration, users need only to pay a fee of $1.99 per track per year. There are no annual renewal fees, and royalties are paid 100% to the artists.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the app
Below, we briefly answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Boomplay app.
Is Boomplay free?
The app runs a freemium service. This means that you can get some basic functionality for free but would need an active subscription to use every feature on the app.
How can I upload my song to Boomplay?
Register for a Boomdistro account and upload tracks at $1.99 per track annually.
Is Boomplay legal?
In its five-year existence, the app has not had any legal issues. The reason is that Boomplay only distributes songs that they have an official license to host. This is either by artists uploading the track themselves or the deals Boomplay signs with music distribution companies.
Who is the owner of Boomplay?
Transsnet Group owns Boomplay. Transsnet itself is a joint venture between NetEase Group and Transsion Holdings Group.
How does Boomplay earn money?
The company earns money in a variety of ways. User subscriptions, advertising within the app and artists who pay for uploading their tracks are some of the means they make money.
How do I sell my music on Boomplay?
Register a Boomdistro account and upload tracks at $1.99 per track annually.
How do you earn points on Boomplay?
You can earn points on the app by completing tasks assigned to you within the app. These tasks could range from streaming a song to posting on the Buzz platform. Points earned can be used to redeem prizes within the app.
How do I delete my Boomplay account?
There does not seem to be a specified means within the app of deleting a Boomplay account. Probably contacting their customer care service would be the only means of doing this.
When an app has consistently maintained its place atop the rankings on the Google and Apple stores in any category for a period as prolonged as Boomplay has done, it is for a reason. That reason is usually related to users’ satisfaction and experience using the app.
Boomplay is an app that every music lover should consider having on his or her phone. The app has surely come to stay and such consistency in improving its services and expanding partnerships with even foreign companies means the app’s catalog is only sure to increase.
Have you used Boomplay? What was your experience like and would you recommend it to others? Share your reasons in the comments below.