HomeNewsMusicians, filmmakers take to street marketing to counter piracy

Musicians, filmmakers take to street marketing to counter piracy

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OWING to rampant piracy, filmmakers and musicians have resorted to street marketing as they battle to beat the cancerous scourge that left many reeling in poverty this year.

By Entertainment Reporter

The marketing, which includes showing snippets of their productions on commuters in the central business district and shopping centres, among other public spaces across the country, has ensured the artistes some income as opposed to the formal channels that leave them without any revenue.

This has seen a departure from the traditional approaches where distribution companies would drive the products through radio, television and movie houses.

Upcoming cinematographer Lucky Aaron said the lack of interest on local broadcasting has been the main reason.

“We have a huge shortage of broadcasters in Zimbabwe, with the existing two television stations and six radio stations mainly broadcasting international content and productions from established artists,” Aaron said.

“This, added to the loss of interest to view local television and listen to local radio due to political messages and poor quality production, has driven us to this do-it-yourself approach.”
Filmmakers show their films from screens and projectors mounted on top of vehicles parked at spots where there is the largest volume of human traffic.

Films like Go Chanaiwa Go, the Bag Rabvaruka series and Sabhuku Vharazipi, among others, have been dominant on the streets of Harare.

In other parts of the country, growth points and shopping centres are their main attraction areas.
Aaron said they draw people’s attention by screening the most captivating parts of their productions.

“We entice people with captivating scenes from our productions, while selling the DVD for at most $1 so as to drive piracy out of business, but compared to the money we would have pumped in, we barely make profits,” he said.

Film producer and actor Lloyd Kurima, popular as Mabla 10, said he sells advertising space for business people on the DVDs so as to meet the costs of production.

“We refuse to be stopped by lack of funding thus we have resorted to engaging business people especially local grocery stores, butcheries and bars to advertise on our films,” he said.
Mabla said one has to use creativity and imagination to source finance by coming up with fresh marketing approaches.

“I have used celebrities to hype my Bag Rabvaruka series among them Winky D, Alick Macheso and Jah Prayzah, a concept relatively new in local film industry,” he said.

Another self-marketing technique is for musicians to pay commuter operators at least $5 to play their music to passengers.

Kombi driver Tafadzwa Gambiza said this helped the musicians to grow in listenership which benefited them (artistes) when it comes to live performance.

“When music is played in a kombi, you do not have any option other than just listening to what is being played in the vehicle and it benefits artistes with new music as it gets to the people easily,” he said.

Gambiza said this has marketed musicians from different genres especially dancehall.

“Dancehall was not receiving much air play on radio stations in the past years, so kombis were their own broadcasting arena,” he said.

This has recently put artistes such as Killah T, Seh Calaz and Soul Jah Love in the limelight.

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