Lilongwe — A new opportunity for Malawian musicians to sell their music has arisen following the opening of an online digital music market called Maluso Music.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday, managing director for Maluso Music and Raymka Group Mike Mkali said the new platform aims at reducing cases of piracy that are hitting artists hard.
"This is a digital marketplace is a new age solution that will enable artists and music creators to reap from their sweat by protecting their art from piracy.
"We believe that artistry needs to be encouraged because rewarding artists for their labor would trigger a trickledown effect which will eventually benefit communities," Mkali said.
Through this marketplace, artists will get 70 percent of all revenue collected from each song. Out of this, 10 percent will go to the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) which an artist can claim in the future.
Mkali said artists will have to open up accounts on their webpage where they will be filtered to verify their authenticity for the account. For a user to buy music, they will have to open up an account too.
"Like other sites, users will have to use their international money cards like Visa, American Card and Master Card amongst others. However, this site is very different from others because payment of the purchased music has been designed specifically for African countries," Mkali said.
For Maluso Music, the primary mode of payment is through mobile money which is common in Africa compared to other continents.
"For a user to buy music, they will have to top up their mobile money accounts and the money will be deducted at the point of purchase," said Mkali.
He added saying that unlike in other transactions where people are just given reports about their loyalties, this set up will allow artists to access any information of any transaction on their account dashboard once they log in their accounts.
Such an approach is one way of promoting transparency in sales, Mkali said.
Maluso is currently accessible in 8 African countries but said they are targeting to reach the rest of Africa by the year 2020.
A representative of Musicians Union of Malawi Anthony Dumba said Maluso has come at a right time when musicians are grappling with the effects of piracy.
"This is a very big thing to us as artists because as MUM, our cry has been that we have very good artists in Malawi but very few or none benefit from their talent. Artists in Malawi have been investing a lot in coming up with different projects but the outcome has almost been zero," Dumba said.