Playfre Streaming Service Now Available In Zim – Is It Worth A Look?

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

We received a pretty interesting email a few days ago. The music streaming service (I knew nothing about) was expanding to Zimbabwe and 12 other African countries. Apparently, it had previously been available in only 5 countries on the continent.

I checked out their website and it promised “unlimited free music streaming for Africans.” What caught my eye was the fact that this experience would come with no ads, or at least that’s what the website said.

I decided to take Playfre for a ride and see just how it works and whether its an alternative to (dare I say it) Spotify… Irritatingly, the application isn’t available on the Playfre website which redirected me to the Amazon Store. So I had to download an app to download an app… Fantastic!

After reluctantly setting up the Amazon app, I finally downloaded the Playfre application. Not the best of starts but if the app actually delivers on their promise of free music streaming and no ads, then that would make-up for the initial pitfalls. Initially, I thought maybe this was an illegal streaming app but Playfre describes how their platform works:

At first, this looked impossible; how can it be free and yet still benefit right holders around the globe? But we came up with a plan.

Playfre is a sought of curational music service cum music streaming service. When someone streams a song on Playfre, he or she is actually streaming a song on Youtube and not exactly on Playfre, so a view is added to the actual Youtube video being streamed. So our over 600,000 streams in the past two months actually means we have helped artists achieve over 600,000 views on Youtube. So in essence, this actually leads to increased exposure for content owners. If you are familiar with Youtube embed, you will also know that streaming revenue on playfre actually goes to artists whose song are being streamed from Youtube, as Users view these videos on Playfre much in the same way it is shown on Youtube.


I proceeded guilt-free and started searching for my favourite artists and lo and behold their discographies were available in their entirety.

This is a pretty interesting application and one that’ll be staying on my phone for a while to see where the experience falls short. One thing I’ve already noticed is that if an album or song you’re looking for isn’t on the artists YouTube channel then it won’t be on the application – which isn’t a surprise given Playfre’s description above.

On my Galaxy S8, the UI is also a bit rough around the edges forcing the app into full-screen mode and not giving me the ability to access the back function at times – which takes some getting used

I’ll admit that shortly after realising that my favourite artists were on the app, I forgot my tussle with the Amazon App Store pretty quickly. This is a big deal and I’ll see if the application continues to be relevant to me over the next few days.

PS: The application is only available on Android devices (running Android 4.1 and above)

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