With the dawn of the internet, life has debatably become better as knowledge about every subject is accessible at the finger tips; be it entrepreneurship, cookery, entertainment, economics, social life…anything and everything you can think of including music. Without the internet, I bet you wouldn’t be able to read this article.
Talking of music, much as the World Wide Web has brought access to any type of music, the internet has come with it the proliferation of music piracy and death of the compact disc. However, on the other side of life, the internet has brought massive possibilities on how a music artist can benefit from his/her music, be it sales, streaming and international exposure.
For a while, Malawian musicians have been pushing internet service providers to provide them with a bundle with which their fans can buy music through the internet. True to their dreams, recently, TNM announced the introduction of a music bundle in partnership with Rediyo App and Nyimbozathu website.
The process through which one can buy music, though very easy, it has not yet reached the masses. All you have to do to buy or stream music is first to buy the TNM music bundle at K200 (about US$0.27) by dialling *200*6# on a handset with a TNM sim-card. In the case of Rediyo, you have to first download the application while for Nyimbo Zathu, you will have to follow a link to the specific song that you want to buy. Alternatively, you visit Nyimbo Zathu website and search for the song/artist.
Note that you need a separate “normal” internet bundle (which you cannot use to download music on the above platforms) for browsing to get to the song you want before you can download it using the music bundle. Otherwise you will use the music bundle for browsing and you will not be able to download the song.
On the part of artists checking for their music sales, the process is very transparent. The artist can check on the website how many times his/her songs have been downloaded and he/she gets K20 for every download.
Introduction of the music bundle has brought an air of jubilation among the music fraternity in the industry. A check on social sites such as facebook, twitter and echoes from musicians’ whatsapp chat groups, have shown that artists have been waiting for this day for a very long time. It is unfortunate that artists from the rural areas might not benefit from the music bundle soon, as most of them are reportedly not technology savvy.
Introduction of the bundle has also met resistance from some music fans who claim that K200 is way too much for one song. The debate rages on between the fans and the musicians who are the primary beneficiaries of the music bundle.
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