The money is not in record sales – Dr Lance Mambondiani

For a long time artists have cried about their music being “stolen”. Pirated copies  of music have been sold for as little as US$1 as soon as a record is released.  The fight against piracy seems to be insurmountable. The question is should we be fighting piracy at all.

By Stuart Moyo

Speaking at a TedxHarare Salon IdeaLabs event, Steward Bank CEO, Dr. Lance Mambondiani gave a different solution, to make music free.

The discussion, held at Alliance Francise on Thursday, August 18, 2016, had the Steward Bank CEO and ZimSwitch Projects and Product Development Terrence Manhanga   whose focus was on innovation and entrepreneurship in action.

Steward Bank CEO gave an example of Jah Prayzah’s latest offering ‘Mudhara Vachauya’ which is now available in the streets of Harare for a US$1. Surely Jah Prayzah was not making money off album sales.

Two days after hitmaker Jah Prayzah launched his album, he put it on youtube for all to listen to, and in this technological era, to download as well.

“There are now other ways of making money, move from selling albums,” said Mambondiani. He pointed out that companies such as spinalong were now irrelevant because they did not move with technology.

“Adopt digitization to remain relevant” he added. Freemium models are the best way to protect your products.

To make money offer your products for free. He pointed out Mark Zuckerberg’s facebook model which offers free services but is today worth in excess of $350 billion.

In March 2016, Alick Macheso’s album ‘Tsoka Dzerwendo,’ was sold at US$1. A representative of Nash Paints, Evans Masvaike is reported to have said the reduction was part of an effort to making Macheso’s music affordable.

“We want to fight piracy by selling the CD at US$1. We encourage listeners to buy the original disc and support both the musician and his charity work,” he said.

Macheso is a brand ambassador for Nash paints and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS).

Some musicians have failed to adapt to the changing times and continue to complain about piracy, but is this a plausible solution? – Zimbo Jam

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