By Harold Kapindu
Weeks ago, I was privileged to co-host “Friday Lounge” show on Timveni radio with my good friend, singer/producer/radio presenter Dizzo and Matilda. Luckily, the topic of discussion was “How much are people willing to pay for a download?”I, being an online showbiz reporter and a social media expert, I was humbled and it was an honour to be on the show.
Many arguments were raised; suggestions and opinions were made as well as so many questions were left unanswered. One of the outstanding questions was how the download payments are going to be made considering the fact that only a few Malawians have Credit/Debit cards or VISA cards. However, a suggestion that websites should partner with mobile phone service providers was made.
Consequently, a few days after our discussion, Malawi-music.com, the country’s leading music file sharing website announced that in few weeks, artists with premium content would be contacted with instructions on how to acquire a username and password for the new site.
According to the website’s statements posted on online social media platforms, customers would be buying music direct from artists via a new section of the site that offers deals on brand new tracks.
The development is welcome but the pricing is questionable because according to the statement, each song would have a different price set by an artist. This is unfair. My argument is, established artists would be making more money than upcoming ones. For instance, remember how popular Black Nina’s “Chilawe changachi” was? Am sure, if it was on sale it wouldn’t make as much money as Piksy or Gwamba. I would love if Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) would quickly formulate a cyber sale policy and regulate the online sales.
On how much an individual are willing to pay, one fan clearly stated that she would pay nothing because she can manage to get any song for free. Producer Rebel Musiq said K750 would be fair considering how much is invested in a song production. K750 is almost equivalent to international price $0.99. However, Rebel Musiq was quick to point out that K100 would be realistic considering the economic hardships that Malawians are going through.