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App zero-rates top soccer Web site for SA

Goal reaches 1.8 million soccer fans in SA and more than 22 million across Africa each month.

Goal reaches 1.8 million soccer fans in SA and more than 22 million across Africa each month.

Goal.com, a global leading football Web site, has launched Goal Zero, a mobile app it says has been optimised to reduce bandwidth usage and provide soccer-loving South Africans with data-free smartphone access.

The Goal Zero app, which is distributed by Perform Group, has been developed on the biNu App Publishing Platform, which incorporates technology that optimises data efficiency.

According to Perform Group, users who install the Goal Zero app on their smartphones do not pay any data costs when using the app, nor do they need a positive data balance to enjoy the content.

Peter Burroughs, MD Africa at Perform Group, says as a result of the significantly reduced data usage, the group has been able to zero-rate the server and completely absorb the data costs on behalf of Goal Zero users.

"We needed to find an additional approach within this emerging market to support our existing strategy that sees Goal already reach 1.8 million soccer fans in South Africa and more than 22 million soccer fans across the African continent each month.

"For a large number of South Africans, data affordability remains a complex issue, so being able to remove the data-cost barrier to make our product data-free and more accessible was a no-brainer," says Burroughs.

Gour Lentell, CEO of biNu, points out: "Apps developed for higher-end devices in developed countries are not designed to succeed in emerging markets like South Africa."

Lentell says Goal Zero has been developed with data efficiency as the priority. Goal Zero does not contain banner advertising, which can account for up to 50% of data usage – for which users would generally have to bear the cost.

"Goal Zero has been designed to include zero-rated, full-screen, 10-second vertical video ads which will still be delivered at no cost to the user," says Lentell.

Burroughs notes: "This form of video advertising is still lying mostly dormant in South Africa due to the limited supply of credible ‘brand safe' opportunities. When you compare the current investment going into video advertising in Africa versus the rest of the world, we see this as a huge area of growth in the coming years."

Goal Zero data-free can be downloaded via the Google Play Store or from https://datafree.co.za.


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