Good news! Nigerians can now stream music on a newly-launched indigenous service without paying a dime! This “Spotify-like” service is the answer to the long overdue demand for Spotify or a similar service that would provide Africans access to unlimited music streaming. Known as Playfre (pronounced “play free”), the service hit Google Play store last month and has grown in leaps and bounds with over 45 million songs in its catalogue, over 100,000 streams and 1,500 registered users within two weeks of its release.
Playfre was launched by Chika Nwaogu, a computer programmer and one of the creators of successful startups such as LAGbook – an African social network which grew from zero to one million registered users in three years and PRAYHoUSe which garnered a readership of over 200,000 and was later acquired by Texas-based non-profit organisation, Ten Doves Charity. Having founded innovative startups such as this, it was no surprise when Chika announced the launch of a new project, Playfre, which will not only be the long-awaited solution to Africa’s need for a free music streaming service but also a platform for artistes to get their songs displayed for free.
According to Chika, “Spotify and many other big music streaming platforms have not yet opened their doors to most African countries because of the weak intellectual property laws in these parts of the world, thus making these awesome apps unavailable to the African demographic. Those who have opened their doors to us, still charge monthly to stream unlimited music. Because of this, I embarked on developing what will become Africa’s first real answer to Spotify, that will bring the over 45 million songs on Spotify to Africans at no charge, with the same Spotify experience.”
This definitely makes the app worth a try so I decided to give it a go and here is what I found
Meet The App – The Spotify of Africa
Playfre has actually been modeled to closely resemble the Spotify app; the only conspicuous feature that distinguishes it is the presence of a white background. Perhaps this was intentionally done to appeal to the psychology of users who have longed for the “Spotify experience”. Scrolling through the homepage of the app on my phone, I was delighted to see an array of freshly released songs. I clicked on about two or three of the songs to get my first feel of the app and loading time for each of the songs barely took five seconds (my internet connection was solid). This was of course after I had signed up on the app with my email and password.
At the bottom of the homepage are different categories. The first one is “Fresh” which gives you access to the latest anthems from Nigeria. I clicked on the “Fresh” icon and the first thing I saw were the words, “All the freshest joints outta Naija!“. Truthfully, the app lived up to its name as I got access to 52 songs currently trending in Nigeria. Clicking on the three-dot icon by each song allowed me to access features such as “Track Radio”, “add to queue”, “remove from the playlist”, “save to your music”, “copy track link”, and “show lyrics”. However, to my disappointment, the “show lyrics” feature was not working for all songs. Although, I believe this is a glitch that will be fixed soon as the app has only spent about a month on the Play store.
The next is “Genres” which as the name implies, has a variety of music classified under different genres. This will definitely be the favourite spot for die-hard music fans that know their music down to its genre and love variety. Following “Genres” is “Top 50” which has 50 of the highest-ranking songs currently trending worldwide. The next features include the “Search” icon, “Your Music” which lets you see all the songs you’ve saved for future listening, and finally the “Account” icon.
On a 1-10 scale, I would give the app an 8 not just because of the amazing features it is offering to Africa but also for the genius of the founder to create a mobile application with the potential to rival Spotify and give Africans access to first-class music streaming service.
Getting The App
Playfre is available on Google Play store at a downloadable size of 49 MB and requires Android version 4.1 and above. Click the link below to download it:
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