Sunday Tribune

Lockdown inspires Durban man’s app


MOST people like to have a snack or drink when they want to watch their favourite shows, so a local app developer thought Sodapop would be the perfect name for his new streaming service.

Zayne Chan, 33, from Phoenix will publicly launch his applicatio­n later this month, although it has been available for download on the Google Play Store since November.

“I was listening to the radio while we were in level 5 lockdown and heard how much was being spent on data. I am an avid Netflix user and realised if they could do it, then so could I, and I did. I knew that I had the perfect opportunit­y to capitalise on people spending more time at home,” he said.

He began developing the app in March last year and it underwent alpha and beta testing before receiving

Google’s approval.

While Chan worked in the informatio­n technology department­s of companies and banks, he studied to become an accredited Google, Microsoft and Apple applicatio­n developer.

“I am a one-man team. I conceptual­ised and implemente­d my idea by myself. There’ve been many sleepless nights and mornings when I awoke facedown on my laptop,” he said.

The app was published and available in 176 countries, but like all streaming services, needs an internet connection and a device like a smartphone, tablet or television.

“You can stream movies, series and for the first time in the country, live television channels. Popular channels are Comedy Central, Discovery, ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN and National Geographic. Sodapop doesn’t require extreme data usage, and all content is Blue Ray quality,” he said.

There are three subscripti­on options – R14.99 per week, R49.99 per month or R500 annually – each subject to taxes, and Google Play Store is handling all transactio­ns.

“I have secured all the required licenses, agreements and permission­s. I believe my only real competitor is Netflix, and so I needed everything to be above board and correct.”

Growing up, Chan was one of four children to a single mother and knew that, given the opportunit­y, he would uplift others.

“Now that I have the streaming service, my next project is to open a free learning centre to teach underprivi­leged youth across the country to code and become developers. They could even join the Sodapop team. Growing up was tough and we are all fighting for our lives, so I want to give others the tools to fight.”

The app currently has a 4-star rating in the app store, with mostly positive reviews.

 ??  ?? DEVELOPER Zayne Chan shows off Sodapop, his streaming service that is available in 176 countries.
DEVELOPER Zayne Chan shows off Sodapop, his streaming service that is available in 176 countries.

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