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
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.