Fans warm up to online music stores

HARARE - Jive Zimbabwe and Oyos Music (Oyos) — two of Zimbabwe’s leading online music stores — have said fans are gradually warming up to buying music on their platforms.

Under the concept, similar to iTunes, music fans pay — through various methods, including Zimswitch, Mastercard and Visa Card — to download songs from the stores’ online portals.

According to Oyos senior project manager Pearson Pfavayi, whose online music platform has so far signed up 300 plus artistes, musicians get most of the money earned.

“Registration for artistes to have their music uploaded is free and they get paid royalties of up to 70 percent at the end of the month. We get 15 percent with the rest going to the radio station we have partnered with,” he told the Daily News.

He added that UFIC choir, represented by Hubert Chigumira and songbird Cindy Munyavi, were the highest earners in Oyos’ first payment to artistes.

“UFIC Choir had four songs which were downloaded a lot. Cindy Munyavi’s Setter Pace also attracted a lot of downloads,” the Oyos official said.

Artistes who have signed up with Oyos include Suluman, Killer T, Tocky Vybes, Stunner, Mudiwa, ExQ, Pastor G, Tembalami, Janet Manyowa, Michael Mahendere and Mathias Mhere.

In a bid to widen the pool of songs, Pfavayi said they had entered into agreements with recording companies.

“We have agreements with recording studios like Diamond Studios, Metro Studios, Gramma Records, Ngaavongwe and the Zimbabwe Music Corporation.

“And because of this we now have a large collection of classics by the likes of the late Andy Brown, Chioniso Maraire and many more,” he said.

Founder and director of Jive Zimbabwe, Benjamin Nyandoro, has noted increase in business on their online music platform.

“Fans are gradually familiarising with online music stores, but sales are still on a low,” he told the Daily News.

Nyandoro, whose organisation has signed up more than 100 artistes including Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Dino Mudondo, Gary Tight, Jazzy Jazz and Jah Signal, added that they are getting most of their business from ringtones.

“What I have noticed is that people are mostly into caller ringtones — a service that is being offered by mobile service providers.

“Jive Zimbabwe is the content provider of choice for the three mobile networks operating in Zimbabwe.

“On these platforms they get to choose and buy a caller ringtone of choice, which in a way tells the mood of that particular fan,” he said.

Like Oyos, Jive Zimbabwe also pays artistes once a month.

“We pay out all artistes on a monthly basis according to sales of their products on our platforms. As a way of promoting transparency and good corporate governance, we avail all sales statements from our online store, while mobile networks also furnish us with similar statements that we will also share with the artiste,” the Jive Zimbabwe founder said.

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