#Africa Buni.tv partnerships take service global


African video-on-demand startup Buni.tv has announced a series of partnerships which will see the service become available across Africa, the US and the UK.

Buni.tv said as the result of an aggressive carriage deal strategy pursued over the past few months, the service will now be available on over 10 partner platforms, to be rolled out over the coming weeks.

While the service remains accessible worldwide through the Buni.tv website and Android app, users will now –  depending on the partner platform – be able to access either Buni.tv’s entire catalogue of over 1,000 movies, TV shows, documentaries and children’s content, or to a selection of videos curated by length and region.

In the US, Buni.tv will be available on Amazon, Vessel and Vimeo through a partnership with TV4 Entertainment; while in the UK it will be accessible via the set-up box of a leading British mobile network operator and internet service provider.

In Africa, the partner platforms will be Watch Africa, an Android OTT/IPTV and DVB-T2 set top box offering a range of linear and VoD channels available in Kenya; Simu.tv, a mobile TV aggregator available on the Vodafone network in Tanzania; Pockit.tv, a mobile TV aggregator available on the MTN network in South Africa; BRCK Moja, a connectivity device and mobile WiFi hotspot in pilot phase in Kenya; an unnamed Kenyan mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) distributing content via portable WiFi through its agents’ network; an undisclosed fibre-optic internet service provider in Nigeria launching live TV and VoD; another unnamed video app that offers premium, zero-rated online and offline comedy clips to subscribers of a major mobile operator in Nigeria; and operators’ premium mobile video stores in Kenya and Nigeria.

Buni.tv chief executive officer Mari Lora-Mungai said partnerships reflect the fact the startup is in a phase of experimenting with business models and content channels.

“We are interested in increasing the reach of Buni.tv and the variety of ways in which viewers can find us, access the service and pay for our content,” said Lora-Mungai.

“The African VOD market is still in an experimental phase, and we are keen to try out various business models to learn how audiences prefer to consume our content, whether it is in small bites through zero-rated services on mobile, in buses via a WiFi hotspot, or at home through the new fibre internet connections that are coming to the continent.”

Disrupt Africa reported in March Lora-Mungai and Tendeka Matatu have merged their assets – which include Buni.tv, Buni Media and Ten10 Films – to form Restless Global.

Restless Global unites all of the pair’s operations under one umbrella, covering everything from finance to distribution and becoming the first African studio to be involved at every step of the content production and distribution pipeline.

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