Zim musicians fail to derive value from online sales

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THE majority of musicians in Zimbabwe do not derive any direct benefit from online streaming of their products as only a paltry eighty percent of them made more than US$500 from their music accessed through online services in the past year.
A recent survey on modes of music consumption in Zimbabwe commissioned by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) showed that 68 percent of musicians in the country get nothing from online music

Yarri Camara, the United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organisation (Unesco) music expert in charge of the survey, said the trend was worrying as 34 percent of Zimbabweans today consume music primarily through streaming and only six percent are still consuming music primarily through CDs.

“Musicians seem to lag behind consumers in moving online as 15 percent of Zimbabwean musicians still do not have their music available on any streaming platform. Of those who do stream their music, 77 percent utilise
the YouTube platform,” she said.

The survey, conducted in October, revealed that consumers are mostly streaming music for free as only 27 percent have a paid subscription to a music streaming service.

“Only eight percent of consumers do not use any streaming platform regularly, that is at least once a week, while YouTube is by far the most commonly accessed streaming platform utilised by 78 percent of consumers,” Camara said.

The survey was carried out under the framework of the European Union (EU)/Unesco Expert Facility for the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries and is part of the “Strategy for the sustainable development of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in Zimbabwe — focus on the Music sector” piloted by the Nacz.

The survey results will be integrated into a wider SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of Zimbabwe’s music sector which will inform the country’s future music strategy.

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