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Music in the Internet age

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Digital music streaming revenues are going up year-on-year, however, music artists (generally speakin
 
July 30 · Issue #49 · View online
iAfrikan Daily Brief
Digital music streaming revenues are going up year-on-year, however, music artists (generally speaking) complain about lower earnings directly from sales (streams) of their music. What’s happening? - Tefo Mohapi

Today I spent just over half-a-day moderating discussions and speaking at a Music Development Foundation event held at Jozihub in South Africa. Although the main theme was about “Your Brand Identity”, there was no escaping that even on branding for music artists, you cannot have that discussion without talking about digital technology and the Internet.
What was somewhat revealing but not really surprising, given a lot of the work we have been, and continue to be doing through Maroo Africa in partnership with MDF, is that many music artists in Africa, both newcomers and established ones alike, are not as digitally savvy as one assumes. Despite being active on social media and having thousands and sometimes millions of followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, they seem (from the discussions today and lessons over the years) not to understand how to extend their online identity beyond social media.
Olwethu Leshabane (left), Founder and Director at the Creative Shoppe, shared some insights on how artists could develop a strategy for their brands leading up to how to execute and implement that on digital platforms.
This ties in with something that has always boggled my mind for years: why don’t most African artists have their own domains and websites?
Part of the answer is education and awareness. As mentioned earlier today when I was sharing what we learned over the past year, you’d be surprised to learn that many music artists, of varying levels of experience and from different countries (our top 5 countries in terms of artists signed up and registered are: South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya).
When we received the first few such answers we scoffed it off as an anomaly. However, a pattern would then emerge to emphasise that perhaps this is really more prevalent than we thought - i.e. despite being present on social media, some artists really do not know what a domain and a website is (knowledge we take for granted).
That lack of education / knowledge ends up affecting other areas of their professional lives. When signing contracts they end up signing away (some, not all) crucial ownership of potential digital properties such as the ability, in future, to monetize their digital identities through a website, ownership of their images and/or online videos and more. This becomes important when you realise that with music in the Internet age, artists (most) barely make money from streaming. As such, having a website and directing your fans to the said website can open up other income avenues.
Recommended
🎧 Digital music research has apparently uncovered why people are hiding their true music preferences. An international survey of 8,000 adults found that 42% tell ‘musical mistruths’ about the songs and artists they’ve listened to. Link
🎸 The impact of smartphones and the Internet on music, a chat with Molefi Makananise. Link

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