At the end of last month, Safaricom announced a new initiative that sees it distribute the electronic versions of Kenya’s major newspapers through its safaricom.com portal.
Conspicuously missing from the lineup that comprised the Daily Nation, The Standard, and their respective weekend editions, Business Daily and The Nairobian, publications drawn from two of the country’s oldest and largest media houses, The Standard Group and the Nation Media Group, were the offerings of two other players: Radio Africa Group and Mediamax.
The former is the mother company of The Star newspaper while the latter publishes the People Daily newspaper.
That has now changed with Safaricom announcing that the two publications are now part of its online offering to its subscribers.
The news also comes with an interesting twist: unlike the publications from The Standard Group and Nation Media Group which go for Kshs 20 daily, The Star and the People Daily will cost just Kshs 10 daily. This, according to a statement from Safaricom quoting the Radio Africa Group CEO Patrick Quarcoo, is a special launch offer.
While that is definitely good news for readers of The Star newspaper, it is worth noting that Mediamax already distributes the People Daily newspaper for free physically as well as online. What incentive is there to pay an additional Kshs 10 to access it through Safaricom?
Also worth noting is that for the price one pays for any digital newspapers they purchase, that also includes the cost of data to access the download. “…a customer’s data bundle will not be consumed when reading through each paper,” Safaricom notes in a statement.
The means for accessing the e-papers has not changed – go to safaricom.com or dial *550# from your Safaricom line.