Piracy: Tuku turns to digital music distribution

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi is determined to make the most of digital platforms in his bid to beat piracy that is ravaging the local music industry.

The music legend released the title track of his 66th studio album titled Hany’ga — Concern on iTunes on December 29 last year and will make available the rest of the 10-track album on the same digital music platform early next month.

Tuku’s manager, Walter Wanyanya, told the Daily News that rampant music piracy has forced Tuku to put digital music platforms at the centre of his distribution plan for his latest and 66th album.

“In any case, this is now the international strategy as it helps to combat piracy. Hany’ga — Concern was released on iTunes late last year. The rest of the album will be available on February 2,” said Wanyanya.

In addition to Hany’ga — Concern, Tuku’s latest album also includes Matope, Bopoto, Shiringinya, Haasati Aziva, Dehenya, Inombotanga Sei?, Mahara, Uchatinhei?, Inyasha and Wanza Sori.

Tuku and many other local artistes are increasingly turning to digital music stores against the backdrop of worsening music piracy.

Last year, Jive Zimbabwe and Oyos Music, two of Zimbabwe’s leading online digital music stores, told this paper that Zimbabweans were gradually buying music on their platforms.

Music fans can download a song for a dollar after paying through various methods including EcoCash, TeleCash, ZimSwitch, Mastercard and Visa Card.

According to Oyos Music senior project manager, Pearson Pfavayi, whose online music platform has signed up over 400 artistes, musicians get most of the money accrued.

“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,” Pfavayi 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.

Like Oyos Music, Jive Zimbabwe, founded by Benjamin Nyandoro, also pays artistes once a month.

“Fans are gradually familiarising with online music stores, but sales are still on a low. What I have noticed is that people/fans are mostly into caller ringtones — a platform/service that is being offered by mobile service providers, such as Econet, Netone and Telecel,” said Nyandoro.

The Jive Zimbabwe platform includes the likes of Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Dino Mudondo, Gary Tight, Jazzy Jazz and Jah Signal.


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