Astro pitches the Astro Mobi Store to artists at a poorly attended meeting

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Astro Mobi Store Team Leader Leonard Mufati

Local mobile device maker and software company Astro ,today presented its Mobi Store product to local artists in a “round table” discussion at Alliance Française. Astro Mobi Store team leader, Leonard Mufati presented the solution which Astro hopes will help counter piracy of local content.

Although some prominent local musicians like Cindy, Baba Shupi and Victor Kunonga attended the event, the attendance was very low and the number of people present could not fill the small auditorium a Alliance Française.

The Astro Mobi Store is an application were local content producers can upload and sell their content on. The primary value proposition that Astro tried to sell to the artists was that selling their content on the Astro Mobi Store would limit exposure to piracy because, as Astro claims, all content on the Astro Mobi Store will be encrypted and programmed to play on an Astro made media player.

The idea was however not well received from the artists that attended. Generally the artists did not feel that Astro’s solution will solve the piracy solution but welcomed the platform as a distribution vehicle. Mr Mufati even admitted himself that their Mobi store solution will fight piracy in “a small way”.

However, Astro is angling to tie down artists in an exclusive arrangement were all content is distributed on their Mobi Store. This would, in a way, guarantee that all music sales pass through the Astro Mobi Store with Astro and the Content owners splitting the proceeds 40-60 respectively.

The general vibe from the artists present was an unwillingness to list exclusively on the Astro Mobi Store because they felt the solution does not guarantee them that their music will disappear from the streets. The did however, welcome the Astro Mobi Store as “just another option” for artists to distribute their music or content.

This first meeting was not to try to get the artist to commit but to get feedback from the content owners and it seems Astro have been pointed back to the drawing board. The majority of Artists present were not excited about Astro’s key “secure content” value proposition and they showed an unwillingness to let go of existing distribution methods (CDs and digital sales on other platforms).

Astro also failed to present the product in a big way. The Astro Mobi Store is an app and you’d have thought a technology company like Astro would demo the product but that didn’t happen. The presentation was done through text slides and most people at the event left the venue still wondering what the Astro Mobi Store looks like or how it works.


  1. vaGudoguru

    Is the Astro media player a piece of hardware (ipod) or software (itunes)?

    1. Tendai Mupaso

      Hi, it’s a software like iTunes

  2. MI5

    It has recently come to our attention that many of the musicians out there don’t appreciate technology as much as they should. Mr. Mufati take your online business idea to South Africa where your thoughts are much appreciated… Technology in my country (Zimbabwe) is dead.


    the artist seem to have been the most intelligent people in the room ,lol if the store was not functional by launch day then its dead . plus i understand that the content or song is only playable through their phones .the one that made the purchase
    thru a special DRM like player seriously ?
    at least itunes allows multi device playback i believe up to 3 authorised devices
    you to access music you have purchased on multiple devices. the astro guys want reap where they have not sown and are offering nothing to the artist upfront i am talking money in the form of an advance or a royalty . plus what musician in his right mind would want to close all the other distribution channels for this . it would have been more appealing if the music purchased could be played on any user owned device no only GTEL /ASTRO china phones this is poorly hidden attempt to sell their overpriced chinese low spec copy phones and the public will not be fooled
    .GTEL or ASTRO what ever you call yourself this is a fail back to the drawing board

    1. Tendai Mupaso

      Interesting comment. Just a few points of correction. Firstly, Gtel is not involved in anyway. Secondly you are partly right that the music purchased will be playable on “Astro technonology” but not necessarily Astro phones. The Astro mobi store will be accompanied by an “Astro Mobi player”, a multimedia player that will play the encrypted content from the Astro mobi store. In any case, you are quite right about the limitation you pointed out.

  4. Mufaro

    Can you tell me where I can get my Astro repaired. Just died on me!