By Jeoffrey Mukubi
Revenue for many musicians in Namibia has mainly come from shows and selling CDs. However, streaming platforms and digital stores have become the order of the day, not only all around the world but locally as well.
As artists have released their music at the start of the festive season, local streaming platforms have not had an increase in streaming numbers. According to Malcolm Munyaza, communications officer at Viralcom, musicians are still wary of online platforms.
“Artists are still sceptical to releasing their music via Viralcom because they release music on free platforms such as WhatsApp and YouTube. They care more about giving listeners music instead of selling it,” Munyaza said.
Giving away singles or whole albums for free is not a new trend and mainly to the disadvantage of the artists because they sometimes feel like there is no point in making money on streaming platforms because they will make pennies.
Llewellyn Adams, founder of Donlu Africa shares these sentiments as he told unwrap.online that artists can now reach and distribute their music to huge audience’s right from their bedrooms.
“Social media has made it easy to organise shows, get involved in communities, and share music with collaborators. The rise of streaming and digital distribution has also made it easier than ever for artists to get paid for their music,” Adams said.
He, however, mentioned that not many musicians released music this festive season because of the Namibian Annual Music Awards being cancelled.
“There’s no pressure to release anymore, I believe they have or are becoming more strategic about when to release. Most artists do make their music available on digital platforms and not just on our platform, but international platforms so yes, artists are now more open to the idea of making their music available digitally,” Adams said.
Veteran music promoter Antonio also added his two cents saying that because of the pandemic, artists are now pressured to release music about every six months instead of once a year with some of them are selling fairly well.
“In these crazy times, they don’t have a choice, the trade fairs and shows are out, NAMA’s is done, so the only way to make money is to release a new album,” Antonio added.