- Streamplay says adoption of smartphones in Pacific Islands presents opportunities for online entertainment including music, video and game streaming
- Streamplay strengthening foothold in region through partnerships and acquisitions
- The company launched mGames in PNG, is targeting additional regions within the Pacific Islands
As part of its strategic global expansion plan Streamplay Studio is looking to develop a strong presence across gaming, music and video streaming in the Pacific Islands as smartphone adoption in the region grows.
Collectively the Pacific Islands region has a population of ~10.2 million people and it’s where competitive casual gaming and music streaming provider Streamplay Studio (ASX:SP8) sees future growth opportunities.
SP8 is a leading provider of competitive casual gaming technology, music streaming services, and telco value-added services.
The company offers a range of entertainment options for its users, including the ability to stream and play games, music, and access various telco services.
Originating out of South Africa in 2016, SP8 saw a gap in the domestic market and started with a single domestic product where casual gamers could connect, play, and compete for prizes.
SP8 launched its first cloud gaming product in 2022. Its IP and related services now enable cutting-edge online casual gaming and competition facilitation platforms where subscribers enter tournaments, play their favourite casual games, and earn rewards and prizes with underlying social interaction options.
Continuous growth has culminated in a pivotal partnership with MTN, South Africa’s telecom giant. To date, its platform has been embraced by over 1.7 million subscribers.
Why the Pacific Islands makes good business sense
SP8 non-executive chairman Bert Mondello says adoption of internet and mobile phone connectivity has presented great opportunity, often with little to no competition, for those who brave the challenge of setting up in new territories.
He says mobile phone usage across the Pacific Islands exhibits significant disparities among different territories, influenced by factors such as infrastructure development, economic circumstances, and geographical complexities.
“Nonetheless, in many Pacific Island nations, mobile phones have emerged as indispensable tools for communication and access to information,” he says.
He says among the more developed and populous islands, such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa, with a combined population of 9.1 million, mobile penetration rates tend to be higher.
“In these areas, mobile phones are widely used for communication, banking, and internet access,” Mondello says.
“Conversely, less developed islands may encounter obstacles related to infrastructure, connectivity, and affordability, resulting in lower mobile penetration rates.”
He says ongoing efforts have been undertaken to enhance mobile connectivity in the Pacific Islands region through initiatives such as expanding network coverage, introducing more affordable devices, and promoting digital literacy.
“In many Pacific Islands, mobile phones serve as the primary means of accessing the internet, highlighting the critical importance of mobile data connectivity for information dissemination and communication.”
He says the Pacific Islands have witnessed a notable surge in smartphone adoption, with 88% of mobile phone connections attributed to smartphones and Fiji, in particular, boasting a smartphone penetration rate exceeding 90%.
Growing 5G connection boosts opportunities
By 2030, it is projected that the Pacific Islands will have 1.5 million 5G connections.
The fintech sector in the Pacific Islands has already experienced notable growth, driven by various initiatives and advancements.
The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) has played a pivotal role in expanding access to financial services for ~1.8 million individuals.
This expansion is primarily attributed to the proliferation of mobile technology and supportive regulatory frameworks.
Improved mobile connectivity has enhanced healthcare in the Pacific Islands, enabling people to access healthcare professionals through apps for online consultations and payments.
Similarly, education, particularly early learning, and literacy, has greatly benefited from enhanced connectivity and smartphone accessibility.
Mondello says current migration from 2G and 3G to 4G presents numerous opportunities in the realm of online entertainment, including music streaming, video streaming, and game streaming.
“Given the widespread adoption of smartphones in the market, the potential for deploying gaming, music, and video streaming technologies is readily available,” he says.
Positioning for growth
In July 2023 SP8 launched mGames, a branded version of its ArcadeX white-label technology, in Papua New Guinea in partnership with Bemobile Limited, a leading telco in the region.
The company is currently launching mGames in additional regions within the Pacific Islands.
In May 2023, SP8 also initiated a strategic collaboration with Palau National Communications Corporation, the sole telecommunications provider in Palau.
The partnership enables SP8 to target an audience of 41,000 users, offering a diverse array of gaming and music platforms.
Another significant alliance forged in May 2023 involved SP8 teaming up with Digicel Pacific, owned by Telstra (ASX:TLS), to introduce gaming and music platforms in Fiji.
Telstra finalised the purchase of Digicel Pacific in July 2022.
“Digicel Pacific is the leading mobile telecommunications and network services provider in the Pacific and plays a vital role in the economic development of the Pacific region,” the Federal Government said at the time.
SP8 sees the partnership as marking the start of its strategic expansion across the Pacific Islands.
Digicel Pacific boasts a substantial subscriber base of more than 2.5 million users throughout the Pacific region.
In December 2022, SP8 successfully concluded the acquisition of Mobimedia’s Value-Added Services (VAS) business, incorporating several new product lines encompassing music and video streaming, as well as mobile gaming content.
A noteworthy outcome of the acquisition was mJams, the preeminent music streaming application tailored to indigenous audiences in the South Pacific.
“With more than 1000+ artists and some of the biggest artists not just in the Pacific but in the world of Reggae such as DMP, Jaro Local and Sean Rii we boast the largest collection of local Pacific music and videos in the world,” Mondello says.
This article was developed in collaboration with Streamplay Studio, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.