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Betting on exclusive and niche content, Sewasew Multimedia, a streaming platform backed by Samrawit Fikru, is preparing to launch the podcast feature on its streaming app. Slated for release in two weeks, Sewasew will showcase a variety of exclusive podcasts spanning an array of diverse topics.

According to Behailu Tesfaun, Podcast Department Head at Sewasew Multimedia, the platform seeks to become a central hub for podcasts with an aim to democratize knowledge. Moreover, Sewasew, a owned by 2f-Capital Plc, plans to focus on specific subjects, such as childcare and professional-centered podcasts, to establish a strong presence in Ethiopia’s burgeoning podcast scene.

“Sewasew, with a user base exceeding 350,000, plans to offer 20 different podcasts in the first year of its operation,” Habtamu told Shega.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

Since its debut in October 2022, Sewasew has released approximately 15 albums. Renowned artists like Aster Awoke, Abinet Agonafir, and Girma Tefera have published their works on Sewasew, and an upcoming album from the popular singer-songwriter Teddy Afro is already in the pipeline.

Shega couldn’t obtain exact figures on Sewasew’s total streaming hours; however, the platform’s top three albums have each surpassed one million streams. As of June 10, 2023, the most listened-to album is ‘Aleke’ by Abinet Agonafir, boasting about 1.5 million streams.

In recent years, Ethiopia has witnessed a surge in podcast popularity. According to Dagem Mekonnen, the co-founder and co-host of the popular Gugut Podcast, multiple factors contributed to the rising demand for this form of media. The growing need for local content, improved internet access, and global trends are among the driving forces, according to Dagim.

Related- The Rise of Podcasting in Ethiopia

Besides Gugut Podcast, other noteworthy local podcasts include the Meri Podcast, Tarik, and Zemach FM, all of which focus on an assortment of social, business, historical and philosophical topics relevant to everyday life.

Earlier this year, Teraki, an Ethiopian audiobook and podcast startup, secured investment from Renew Capital, an Africa-focused impact investment firm.

Sewasew offers free access to its users, but they cannot download songs and will be presented with ads. In contrast, the premium version provides unlimited, offline, ad-free access. The platform offers various subscription plans: a weekly subscription for 21 birr, a monthly subscription for 90 birr, and a yearly subscription for 990 birr.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.