Mvesesani digital music store proprietor has raised concern that there has not been sufficient infrastructure in the country to support the streaming and buying of music from digital platforms.
Twaambo Haamucenje told Lusaka Star that music is a market-dictated industry and that streaming of music is what is most comfortable for the mass market.
Zambia hasn’t had a really strong presence as far as a solution that will benefit both the artist and the consumer locally. And so providing a solution that will allow the artist to put up their music and trust that the quality will be good and will allow the consumer to purchase the music using local payment options,Mr Haamucenje.
He added that there are not many retailers that provide local payment options for music consumers, and that makes it harder for people to purchase from artists.
Mr. Haamucenje further explained that platforms such as Mvesesani only provide the infrastructure and allows local payment options, such as MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money but cannot force consumers to make a purchase.
The fans buy into the artist. There is an emotional connection that the fans have with the artist. So as long as we are providing a platform for the artists, we hope that consumers will get a product they want to pay for and the artists will get paid by us.Mr Haamucenje.
The Mvesesani proprietor added that to fight piracy, artists should make it convenient enough for consumers to want to support artists through buying from digital stores and streaming services.
Mr. Haamucenje added that streaming services do not always benefit artists completely.
The way that artists make their money [on streaming services] is going to invariably be less as opposed to retailing their music directlyMr Haamucenje.
However, he has indicated that he does not believe that the Zambian music industry should migrate fully to digital platforms.
Physical music is not necessarily going to die out, so long as there are consumers who want physical. There are people who want physical copies to play in their cars. Or for sentimental value, such as an autographed copy,he explained.
There are people who prefer digital and there are people who prefer digital platforms.
Meanwhile, Music Producer and industry veteran Duncan Sodala has said there is need for tougher laws on piracy in the country.
Mr. Sodala added that artists are not getting fair deals from streaming services, unless they are signed to a major label.
It’s a lot of hard of work for artists to advertise, especially the independent ones. its very hard to get their music on playlists, and at the end of the day, they’re getting paid peanuts, unless they are signed to major labels.Mr. Sodala.
He has urged artists to have a robust team to tackle piracy and create value, so that fans are compelled to buy music rather than to pirate it.
Piracy will always be there, we can never run away from it completely but if you build a very loyal fanbase i think we would see less and less than that. It is also very important to have a team, so that they can look out for you and monitor if people are creating free links and distributing them, [so they] can be taken down.He explained.
Also, artists should create value, for example giving discounts on concert tickets, or even giving free t-shirts with an album sale.
Mr. Sodala added that piracy laws are outdated and there is need for artists to be educated on publishing, royalties and so on.
There is need to look at intellectual property laws and there is also need for the artist to be educated on their rights, on publishing, royalties and music copyright societies. artists need to be more interested and abreast with knowledge on their rights.he explained.
There is need for people to look more into the creative industry, not just the music industry.
This follows concerns among some music consumers that most people in Zambia do not pay for their music.
Mutinta is an avid and passionate writer, who revels in stories about people. She has recently been published in a collective anthology of short stories, twice longlisted for the prestigious Kalemba Short Story Prize and has a personal blog that can be found at www.thelovingkindblog.wordpress.com