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Spotify Turns to Telcos to Facilitate Africa Payments

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Africa, with its internationally recognised musical expertise – and rising cell phone use – is central to Swedish music streamer Spotify’s plans to increase its attain to a billion prospects.

As African artists akin to Nigeria’s Burna Boy and South Africa’s Black Coffee are streamed internationally, the continent was seen as an apparent alternative and is the house to greater than a 3rd of the corporate’s 85 new markets.

The drawback is cost on a continent the place many individuals usually tend to have a cell phone than a checking account.

That means Spotify’s first job because it implements a plan introduced in February to virtually double its footprint is to win over the telecom firms that usually equate to banks.

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music for Sub-Saharan Africa, instructed Reuters the corporate secured “alternative payment methods”, particularly M-Pesa, when it moved into Kenya in February.

Owned by Kenya’s largest telecoms operator, Safaricom, M-Pesa is used to ship cash, save, borrow, and make funds for items and providers.

“A lot of African countries are unbanked so that means they don’t use credit cards and this is very true for a lot of east African (countries) and in Kenya you use M-Pesa for the most part,” Okumu stated. Elsewhere in Africa, Spotify is in search of different collaborators.

“We are having conversations with the right partners to ensure that we are providing solutions to payment problems that several African consumers face in different parts of the continent,” Okumu stated.

Chasing the cellular cash

Irene Kophen, a Spotify Premium person primarily based in Kenya, stated she prefers M-Pesa reasonably than financial institution playing cards as a result of she thinks cellular cash has made music extra accessible.

“Most of us have access to our phones, but not many of us have cards, or bank accounts,” the 31-year-old instructed Reuters.

Costs related to opening financial institution accounts, the space to monetary establishments and the problem in assembly “Know Your Customers” necessities due to insufficient proof of tackle have added to the attraction of utilizing telephones to pay.

“The past few years have seen an emphasis on shifting towards expansion of innovative banking services through mobile technology to capture lower income segments and the unbanked,” a spokesperson for South Africa’s Absa financial institution stated in an emailed assertion.

By 2020, sub-Saharan Africa had 548 million cellular cash accounts, up 12 % from 2019 – greater than some other area on the earth, cellular business physique GSMA stated.

That has supplied banking entry in a continent the place about 43 % of sub-Saharan Africans over the age of 15 had a checking account in 2017, in line with the World Bank, which has not supplied any more moderen information.

Win, win

Spotify’s native rivals, akin to Kenya-based and Danish-listed Mdundo and Nigeria headquartered Boomplay have additionally began to construct ties with cellular operators.

Such partnerships are primarily based on telcom suppliers promoting music bundles that give prospects entry to a streaming firm’s Premium service and exclusively-curated music mixes.

The collaboration can profit each side by boosting income and serving to to extend subscribers, however for the streaming firms it’s all-but important.

“It is critical that streaming companies get this right, otherwise they will lose out on revenue from consumers who were willing, but unable, to pay them,” Charles Stuart, PwC associate and director of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, stated.

For the telecom firms, which additionally embrace Airtel Nigeria and Vodacom Tanzania, the partnership might help to realize buyer “loyalty and stickiness” by including worth, Stuart stated.

MTN, Africa’s largest cellular operator with 48.9 million energetic cellular cash customers, is integrating its cellular cash service onto its MusicTime app to permit funds, Serigne Dioum, group chief digital and fintech officer of MTN, instructed Reuters.

“We’re talking to players who are music-only players and also we’re talking to players who have broader reach in music, video and gaming and who can position our digital services much better,” MTN’s Dioum stated.

Boomplay, which has 60 million month-to-month energetic customers, has allowed customers to pay through cellular platforms akin to M-Pesa and Tigo-Pesa in Kenya and Tanzania.

It goals to roll out that choice in Francophone nations, Tosin Sorinola, Boomplay’s director of artiste and media relations, instructed Reuters.

Mdundo, which had 8.7 million month-to-month energetic customers as of June, has three telecom partnerships in Nigeria and Tanzania, and expects one or two extra related offers earlier than the top of this 12 months, Chief Executive Officer Martin Nielsen instructed Reuters. “When it comes to payments across Africa our key focus is bundling with telcos… because telcos are the ones who have this reach and access to people’s pockets,” he stated.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Watch the New The Batman Trailer Unveiled at DC FanDome

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The Batman trailer is right here — in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. At DC FanDome on Saturday, Robert Pattinson the brand new Batman, Zoë Kravitz the brand new Catwoman, and The Batman writer-director Matt Reeves unveiled a brand new trailer for the upcoming standalone reboot of the Dark Knight. “The delineation between when he’s Batman and when he’s Bruce is not very clear”, Pattinson mentioned at DC FanDome. The new The Batman trailer offers a correct take a look at Gotham City and teases the motion sequences. The Batman trio spoke extensively in regards to the movie earlier than they debuted the brand new trailer. We additionally get a featurette alongside that arrange the world that this model of Batman lives in, with Pattinson, Kravitz and Reeves speaking in it.

Gotham City cops apprehend the Riddler (Paul Dano) initially of the brand new The Batman trailer. “Fear is a tool,” Batman (Pattinson) says later, earlier than we see him go ballistic on some criminals. Riddler says he is been making an attempt to achieve Batman. Elsewhere, he meets Selina Kyle (Kravitz). His butler Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) warns him that there is not a lot left for him if he goes down this path. Batman vows that he is vengeance, earlier than The Batman trailer descends right into a flurry of motion.

The Batman trailer DC FanDome

The Batman Hindi trailer DC FanDome

The Batman Tamil trailer DC FanDome

The Batman Telugu trailer DC FanDome

In addition to Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/ Batman and Kravitz because the anti-hero cat burglar Selina Kyle/ Catwoman, The Batman additionally stars Paul Dano because the serial killer Edward Nashton/ Riddler who taunts Batman and the police, Jeffrey Wright as Batman’s police ally James Gordon, John Turturro as mob boss Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham district legal professional Gil Colson, Andy Serkis as Bruce’s mentor and butler Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell because the disfigured crime lord Oswald Cobblepot/ Penguin.

Barry Keoghan performs Gotham City officer Stanley Merkel, Jayme Lawson is Gotham mayoral candidate Bella Reál, and Alex Ferns portrays Gotham City Commissioner Pete Savage. The Batman has undisclosed roles for Gil Perez-Abraham, twins Charlie and Max Carver, Rupert Penry-Jones, and Con O’Neill.

Behind the scenes, Reeves directs The Batman off a screenplay he co-wrote with Peter Craig (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2). Greig Fraser (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) serves because the cinematographer. On The Batman, Reeves reunites with War for the Planet of the Apes collaborators, together with celebrated composer Michael Giacchino, and editor William Hoy (who edited the DC movie with Tyler Nelson).

Reeves can be a producer on The Batman with Dylan Clark. The Batman is a manufacturing of Reeves’ sixth & Idaho, DC Films, and Dylan Clark Productions. Warner Bros. Pictures is the worldwide distributor. The Batman was made on an estimated price range of $100 million (about Rs. 750 crores).

Though The Batman is technically the subsequent DC film, it isn’t a part of the DC Extended Universe — the shared universe that encompasses the likes of Shazam! and Wonder Woman. The DCEU does have three titles in 2022 although: Dwayne Johnson-led Black Adam in July 2022, The Flash with Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton in November 2022, and Jason Momoa-led Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in December 2022. Shazam returns in Shazam! Fury of the Gods in June 2023.

The Batman releases March 4, 2022 in cinemas in India (in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu) and around the globe.

The Batman poster

The official poster for The Batman
Photo Credit: DC Comics/Warner Bros.

  • Release Date 4 March 2022
  • Language English
  • Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Superhero
  • Cast Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Barry Keoghan, Jayme Lawson, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell
  • Director Matt Reeves
  • Producer Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark
  • Music Michael Giacchino
  • Production Warner Bros. Pictures

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods First Look Unveiled at DC FanDome

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Shazam is again for a second go. At DC FanDome on Saturday, Zachary Levi and Co. gave us a primary behind-the-scenes take a look at Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the upcoming sequel to the 2019 unique. It showcased Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu in costume, who’re taking part in the Greek god Atlas’ daughters Hespera and Kalypso within the second Shazam film. And following a set photograph that includes the Shazam Family earlier this 12 months, DC FanDome gave us one other peek on the superhero squad that may face up towards these new threats.

“We’re raising the bar with this one,” Levi mentioned at DC FanDome, teasing what DC followers can count on from Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Levi additionally talked in regards to the enjoyable they’d on the units. While the film wrapped manufacturing a few months again, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is just not due for nearly two extra years weirdly. I suppose this has to do with the construction and the larger plans that Warner Bros. has for the DC Extended Universe, which is rising not solely in cinemas however may also broaden on HBO Max going ahead.

Zachary Levi as Shazam on the units of Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Photo Credit: DC Comics/Warner Bros.

Before we see Shazam! Fury of the Gods in 2023, the DCEU will convey us Dwayne Johnson-led Black Adam in July 2022, The Flash with Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton in November 2022, and Jason Momoa-led Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in December 2022. Before all that, we’ve Robert Pattinson in The Batman in March 2022 — it is not a part of the DCEU although, not like the others.

In addition to Levi, Mirren, and Liu, Shazam! Fury of the Gods additionally stars Asher Angel as {the teenager} Billy Batson, Jack Dylan Grazer as his bodily disabled superhero-fan foster brother Freddy Freeman, Faithe Herman as his good-natured youthful foster sister Darla Dudley, Grace Fulton as his mature academically pushed older foster sister Mary Bromfield, Ian Chen as his obsessive gamer youthful foster brother Eugene Choi, and Jovan Armand as his shy older foster brother Pedro Peña.

Upon saying the phrase “Shazam!”, Batson and his foster siblings flip into their grownup superhero types who’re performed respectively by Levi, Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Fulton, Ross Butler, and D.J. Cotrona. Shazam! Fury of the Gods may also function the returning Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews as their foster mom and father Rosa and Víctor Vásquez, respectively.

Behind the scenes, Shazam!’s director David F. Sandberg and author Henry Gayden return in these respective capacities on Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Gyula Pados — recognized for his work on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and its sequel Jumanji: The Next Level — serves because the cinematographer. Peter Safran and Geoff Johns are producers on the second Shazam live-action film. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a manufacturing of DC Films, New Line Cinema, The Safran Company, and Mad Ghost Productions. Warner Bros. Pictures handles distribution worldwide.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is at the moment set to launch June 2, 2023 in cinemas in India and around the globe.

  • Release Date 2 June 2023
  • Language English
  • Genre Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Superhero
  • Cast Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Adam Brody, Faithe Herman, Meagan Good, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Ross Butler, Jovan Armand, D.J. Cotrona
  • Director David F. Sandberg
  • Producer Peter Safran, Geoff Johns
  • Production Warner Bros. Pictures

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom First Look Unveiled at DC FanDome

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Aquaman is again. Jason Momoa unveiled a behind-the-scenes take a look at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the primary main DC Extended Universe superhero sequel since final 12 months’s Wonder Woman 1984. The teaser primarily options director James Wan’s tackle the movie’s taking pictures and the general imaginative and prescient of the Aquaman franchise. Fans additionally acquired a glimpse of titular star Jason Momoa in motion, alongside Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Patrick Wilson. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is slated to launch on December 16, 2022.

Momoa stated he was “proud” of the sequel, and that he was “super excited to be back” on the units of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as he launched the behind-the-scenes teaser. Wan stated that followers can anticipate Aquaman 2 to be “more mature” but retain the enjoyable components which made 2018 film a business success. Apart from Momoa tossing round dangerous guys on the set, the teaser additionally confirmed Abdul-Mateen II, Heard, and Wilson in motion.

We get a short glimpse of Aquaman’s new stealth swimsuit. That’d most likely come in useful as he takes on Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta, who’s “still seeking his vengeance” and plans to “kill Aquaman,” as per Wan.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom stars Momoa, Abdul-Mateen II, Heard as princess of the underwater Xebel kingdom Mera, Wilson as King Orm or Ocean Master who equals Aquaman himself along with his aquatic powers, Dolph Lundgren as Mera’s father King Nereus, and Randall Park because the pleasant marine biologist Dr Stephen Shin.

James Wan returns on the director’s chair for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, with Aquaman co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick solely liable for the screenplay.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is slated to launch on December 16, 2022, which continues to be significantly a very long time away. Before that, DCEU followers will probably be handled with the Dwayne Johnson-led Black Adam in July 2022, Ezra Miller-starrer The Flash in November 2022. Not part of DCEU, the Robert Pattinson-starrer The Batman is ready for March 2022.

  • Release Date 16 December 2022
  • Language English
  • Genre Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Superhero
  • Cast Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Randall Park, Vincent Regan
  • Director James Wan
  • Producer Peter Safran, James Wan
  • Music Rupert Gregson-Williams
  • Production Warner Bros. Pictures

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