Stream.Digital in partnership with Creative Media Works, operating as BBM, lat week announced the launch of STAGE360 Music, a South African first mobile music and content service. Designed for the urban market, this 360° view into music and urban culture, is completely mobile, social and live.
Artists and fans alike simply need to download BBM Messenger – offered free from any App store on Android or iOS devices – to access STAGE360 from the BBM Discover menu.
The concept of STAGE360 was born with a clear goal of empowering the musical youth within South Africa, says STAGE360 Founder, Julian von Plato. “We have identified the best possible partnerships to reach this goal and ensure dreams become reality. BBM Messenger’s content and services target the urban youth market and as both a cutting edge technology platform and a social community, it is the perfect home for STAGE360. With the support of BBM and our media partners, the service gives everyone the opportunity to engage with the youth.”
Within a three-month cycle, 20 artists will be selected, provided with challenges and six will go through to perform at South Africa’s top events across the country. One final artist will receive a produced single, and music video that will be distributed across the STAGE360 network of partners. They will also receive their own channel on BBM. This cycle repeats each quarter.
STAGE360 Music sits as an icon within BBM Discover’s existing ecosystem of content and services, accompanying categories such as News, DiscoverTV (soccer, kids, life, planet, animals, extreme, fitness, food, cars), Football365 (Live Scores), Rewards, Channels, Subscriptions, Stickers, Games and many more to come.
Music fans can quickly and easily browse all uploaded content on STAGE360 Music including access to exclusive events, artist video uploads, interviews, highlights, vlogs, behind the scenes footage, and more. For the artists, once identified, they will begin their journey towards exposure, development, live performances, mentorship and revenue opportunities, enabling them to pursue their dreams in the music industry. These artists will then be amplified across multiple other digital and social platforms to provide exposure to a wider audience, including MTN Play, Slikour onLife, TRACE TV digital, and other sponsored platforms.
Matthew Talbot, CEO of Creative Media Works, the company which operates and runs BBM globally said that STAGE360 Music is dedicated to aspiration and empowerment of our youth, offering a new service dedicated to discovery and development through a pool of established artists and scouts that include Slikour onLife and TRACE Urban South Africa. ”STAGE360 is unlike any other music service available. It is not a music competition that comes and goes, but instead provides a long term solution for musicians to sustain their careers connecting with their fans in an engaged environment.”
As part of the ongoing roll out of the new and improved app, BBM now offers far more than just chat. It has become the ideal social network to drive artist and fan engagement within its Discover menu and Channels. “We are providing artists the tools, functionality and features to create a profile, share their music and engage with their fans in an organic social environment, something that is missing locally,” Talbot explained.
Siya Metane aka Slikour explains why he got behind this project. “The Slikour onLife platform was built for marginalised artists who find solace in digital. BBM’s objectives are aligned with all the reasons that we wake up and do what we do on our site. We see it as an additional platform to widen the voice of the artists.”
Leo Manne, Senior Vice President, Trace Southern Africa says one of their key objectives as TRACE is the support and development of our entertainment industry through shows such as #BTB (Bout To Blow). “This service is geared at giving undiscovered but promising acts a good look. The partnership with STAGE360 is an extension and an enabler to achieve this. We have been encouraged by the kind of feedback we’ve already received from developing and established artists alike, regarding this initiative. We look forward to unearthing the next generations’ icons together with BBM.”