“Bonyeza Ushinde” promo drives Safaricom’s SMS revenues to Kshs 6.35 billion


bonyesaThe “Bonyeza Ushinde” promotion may have ended with the ultimate winner walking away with the Kshs 10 million prize money but on further analysis, it now appears that both the lucky winners and Safaricom are all smiling…to the bank.

During the promo, which ran from August 7 to October 12, 2013, subscribers were rewarded with cash and other prizes.

According to Safaricom’s half-year results for 2014 (covering the period upto September 30, 2013), the firm has seen a 49 per cent growth in SMS revenue, driven by 8 per cent increase in 30 day active users to 11.7 million.  SMS contributed Kshs 6.35 billion to the firm’s revenues for the period.

The financial results states that during the period under review, there was “increased usage driven by SMS based promotions such as ‘Bonyeza Ushinde’ as well as “affordable pricing driven by SMS bundles.”

Overall, Safaricom’s SMS revenues have recorded a steady rise from the 2012 financial year, contributing Kshs 3.65 billion, before this increased to Kshs 4.27 billion in 2013.

Due to the above factors, Safaricom also has the bulk of the SMS market-share controlling 94.8 per cent. Airtel comes in second with 3.9 per cent with yuKenya coming a distant third with 0.8 per cent. Only 0.5 per cent of the country’s SMSes pass through Orange’s network.

The “Bonyeza Ushinde” promotion was aimed at creating awareness about the Safaricom SMS service and encouraging the use of SMS as a means of communication amongst subscribers.

Apart from the Kshs 10 million grand prize, there were other rewards including an Isuzu Pickup and daily winners of Kshs 1 million, 5 winners of Kshs 10,000, Ksh 5,000 and Ksh 2,500. Another 1000 participants were also rewarded with Kshs 100 of Safaricom airtime.