LONDON, Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the video-on-demand (VOD) market, Frost & Sullivan recognises Tuluntulu with the 2015 South Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership. Tuluntulu accurately identified and addressed the needs of consumers in the lower economic segments with its free mobile video streaming app. This platform uses technology that optimises video streams over EDGE, 2G, and other lower-speed network connections to deliver a rich customer experience at reduced costs.
Tuluntulu launched its eponymous mobile application in 2013 for Android and iOS users to access VOD; the app notched up more than 100,000 local downloads within the first three months. It adopts an advertising business model, which sources revenue from content owners by charging a carriage fee to provide the streaming platform. Unlike subscription models, end users can download and watch videos for free. This is a disruptive business model, as Tuluntulu's streaming services cost (in network data) between R4 and R10 an hour, while its closest competitors charge more than ten times the price.
Tuluntulu launched using a locally developed technology that was specifically designed for congested network environments and addresses the drawbacks of popular platforms such as YouTube. The technology has been further developed to meet two critical needs; reducing the data cost of streaming, and optimally performing on existing internet infrastructure. The streaming platform is able to survive in bandwidth network environments ranging between 50KBps and 300KBps.
"The technology accommodates mobile network fluctuations without causing interruptions to the picture quality and the video stream," said Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Group Leader Danielle de la Mare. "Tuluntulu empowers users to control and adjust video quality manually, thereby restricting their data costs. Scaling to a low resolution picture quality avoids distortion and pixilation of the video image, giving customers a smooth viewing experience."
Tuluntulu is content focused and presents an array of channels that cover diverse interests. It hosts 17 TV channels, including popular ones such as Nolly4U, Al Jazeera, Spark4u, Deutsche Welle, and Fleur TV, among others. The platform maintains communication with its user base in-app and relies on data analytics to track consumer interaction; it responds to feedback with app improvements every month. Tuluntulu launched radio streaming in July 2015 with 11 radio stations.
The app displays the channels' Twitter feed thereby providing live user / channel interaction (second screen). The user can personalise the app by selecting "Favourite" channels, and users can choose high or low profiles (data consumption / quality changes) in order to save data costs or increase picture quality. Users can register directly or via Facebook, which will provide "push" marketing options in order to drive user engagement. Items can be shared via social media.
Tuluntulu operates both as a B2B company, targeting broadcasters and content providers, and as a B2C company, delivering the content directly to end users. As a B2B organisation, it is a primary content distribution platform for mobile phones, partnering with TV broadcasters and sourcing 70 percent of its content locally, in South Africa. From a B2C perspective, it satisfies end-user demands for an improved video streaming experience.
"The most important driver for Tuluntulu in rural areas is the provision of educational content to effectively address the lack of mainstream education or affordable educational materials," observed de la Mare. "Language is the biggest hurdle to education in Africa, as students are unable to access material in their first language. Tuluntulu recognises this need and is currently sourcing content to offer maths in Xhosa."
Tuluntulu is well positioned to harness a strong user base of over 180,000 across Africa due to its compelling and locally-relevant video content. The company targets a mix of local and global broadcasters, which launch channels on the platform at a monthly charge. Strong relationships with these leading content providers enhance the brand equity of Tuluntulu and promote return business from users.
Krishna Srinivasan, Global President and Managing Partner, Frost & Sullivan sums up, "The key to the long-term success of any company is its ability to continuously nurture and enhance the value of its products to its customers. As such, Frost & Sullivan is excited to recognize Tuluntulu for its industry-leading focus on improving customer experience and customer ROI for its products in the VOD market."
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognises the company's inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Tuluntulu is a mobile content and advertising platform targeting audiences in Africa, and globally, with African focused content. The platform currently has 17 x 24/7 streaming "TV" channels; and 11 radio stations. Tuluntulu is designed to work on mobile devices connected via low bandwidth connections. The app has been downloaded more than 180,000 times in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and many other countries.
The "FREE" business model is designed to maximize audience reach and engagement; it can be downloaded for free, usage is free (no subscriptions) - 100% free on Wi-Fi, with data costs only if connected via a mobile network (low data TV setting consumes +-50MB / hr.).
The app displays the channels' Twitter feed thereby providing live user / channel interaction (second screen on the same screen). The user can personalize the app by selecting "Favorite" channels. For TV streaming users can choose high or low profiles (data consumption / quality changes) in order to save data costs or increase picture quality. Users can register directly or via Facebook.
Advertisers can reach audiences with long form programming or short form advertising; sponsorship or digital messaging including banners.
Content owners can secure their own dedicated 24/7 channels on the platform, thereby extending the reach of existing video programming or complete "TV" channels into the mobile space in Africa.
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