African musicians need to take their power back and create their own streaming services

Musicians from the African continent need a reality check because over the years they have been leaving money on the table for US Music Streaming Services to collect on a silver platter, unfortunately at the expense of their creative hard work. This phenomenon has been happening for many years and it must come to an end at some point. Our fellow sisters and brothers need to create their lane to compete with the best and play at the global stage. 

We all know that the streaming services came after the closure of record shops and music outlets. The smart ones were ahead of the curve to move to streaming services. I hate to say this, unfortunately, our artists were left behind. I don’t want to debate the issue of why our artists from the continent were left behind, the bottom line here is… knowing what we know and what we can do with the technology we can change the situation. 

Musicians and Application Developers need to come together and create their own Streaming Service Platforms where they can trade among themselves and forge ahead a new path. By implementing what I am talking about here, that is taking their power back and investing in their future. However, if we continue with the current business model, it will take forever for our musicians to compete and they will continue giving Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify free money and that is not good for the current and future generation.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, South African famous DJ Black Coffee says his music streaming service application, GongBox has been in the works for the past four years by Coffee and his team at Soulistic Music and FlightMode Digital. Black Coffee explained that his music platform is like Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes with an African vibe.  

“I’ve always felt like our future is not certain, because it was in other people’s hands and I feel like that’s how we’ve been as a continent. We have always been ready to give our future away to the next bidder who promised us whatever they brought. So, my worry has always been, ‘when do we start creating our things?’ And our things, not just independent record labels,” Black Coffee told Okay Africa.

Five months ago, I was impressed by Kienan Forbes popularly known as AKA and his team after they launched and pivot their own application AKATV with a monthly subscription model, where he will continue to earn while our continent is still in lockdown. That was the game-changer move with what they did, even post lockdown, that is how he should continue running his business and scale. Hopefully, AKA will inspire other artists to do the same or even BIGGER.

If you are reading this article, please share with any musician and app developers that you might know hopefully it will change their consciousness. As a result, we will start doing something different, instead of handing cash over to streaming giants. The point is, let us create our streaming services, invest and grow our communities.