Thabiet Allie is Chief Commercial Officer for Music at Tencent Africa and regularly represents the music industry in global forums. Previously head of content for Samsung Africa, Thabiet has also been responsible for developing tech start-ups across Africa. Prior to joining Samsung, Thabiet worked at MTN and Vodacom, responsible for launching various music and media services including Vodacom Color and Samsung Kleek.
His experience also includes financial services, marketing, corporate sales and e-commerce.
MCBN: It’s a great pleasure to be able to chat with such an accomplished figure in the industry. Tell us more about Thabiet Allie – when did your relationship with music and technology first begin?
Allie: So I was on a three-day fishing trip and got chatting to someone about digital music and what I thought the future looked like. Turns out the guy was the head of innovation at MTN. I got a call on the Monday inviting me to join them to do exactly that. That was 2004. I haven’t looked back since.
MCBN: As Chief Commercial Officer at Tencent Africa, it would be safe to say you’ve pursued your passion for music – working in the digital streaming industry, what would you say your favourite part of your job is?
Allie: I get to listen to music for a living, how can I not love what I’m doing. Every day is a vibe. Plus we have a great team so it doesn’t feel like work.
MCBN: JOOX along with VOOV is part of the Tencent family – JOOX has specifically been making some serious noise, but for those of our readers and streamers who don’t know too much about it, tell us more about the platform and how it differs from other similar ones.
Allie: JOOX is an established global platform that landed in SA just over a year ago. From the get-go, we prioritised setting up a team with a strong local industry background, diverse tastes in music and a keen understanding of what it is people will like here. For us, curation is everything.
MCBN: As a well-known music advocate – personally promoting and uplifting local music yourself – tell us how you ensure JOOX works to uplift our local artists and their work.
Allie: As well as supporting workshops that nurture new talent, we have ongoing marketing campaigns profiling hot artists in the app, in our extended marketing channels and with our media partners.
Alongside Red Bull, we sponsored the CTEMF Connect Programme earlier this year. Their focus is helping to develop up and coming EDM artists. The talent was so good, we ended up extending our support to help them produce their first EP, currently doing rather well on JOOX and all the other streaming platforms.
MCBN: In news released just this week, JOOX announced it would be partnering up with DStv, tell us more about how this incredible collaboration came about and why you feel DStv is a suited platform to team up with?
Allie: There is a natural fit with music, movies and shows to complete the 360 entertainment package. And DStv has always been for all the family. So a family plan for DStv customers where up to 5 family members can benefit from JOOX VIP was an appealing way to extend the DStv entertainment package. And what’s cool is that all Compact, Compact Plus and Premium customers can take advantage of it – for free.
MCBN: The collab is said to offer subscribers a FREE ”360-degree” streaming experience – so what are the exciting new features subscribers can look forward to enjoying?
Allie: I think getting into the mood of the show that’s coming up by listening to the soundtrack or the playlist for that episode, then watching the show and sharing that playlist with your nearest and dearest gives you a more immersive experience of the show. And there are lots of interactive, second screen experiences planned to look out for…
MCBN: As of right now, who are the most listened to local and international artists on the JOOX app?
Allie: Right now, both AKA and Drake are super popular. Cardi B tops the charts every time she drops a track. Rouge does very well in the app too.
MCBN: What’s your personal favourite feature on the JOOX app?
Allie: Good question. There’s a What’s New playlist where our team selects what has just dropped that they predict will do well. I subscribe which means I automatically have all the new stuff to listen to when I am offline (really handy when I’m travelling and get a chance to catch up too). It always brings the heat!
And lastly, what would you like to say to all DStv subscribers who are going to kick back and start enjoying JOOX?
Allie: Especially if you’re new to streaming, you’re in for a treat. Try to reclaim some time for yourself, find somewhere comfortable, lose yourself in new tracks, old tunes that give you crazy cool flashbacks and find your groove. And then put it on when you are in a workout. Oh! And share your membership with your family. Life is better with music.
There you have it guys, everything you need to know about JOOX and DStv’s incredible new feature – how cool, enjoy ALL your favourite music for free on a service you’re already subscribed to.
For more information on JOOX check out their Facebook page, download the JOOX app on both IOS and Android – and if you haven’t already, then sign up today for your DStv subscription and enjoy all the best of JOOX absolutely FREE!