MUSIC management and marketing company Jive Zimbabwe will tonight launch its long-awaited music store at a Harare hotel.
The initiative is likely to bring smiles to musicians who have been reeling in piracy-inflicted poverty as there has been no clue as yet on how to tame the scourge.
Benjamin Nyandoro, director of Jive Zimbabwe, told NewsDay the project,which comes with a number of promotional activities like gigs, had finally managed to deliver its major thrust.
He said they had managed to engage platforms like MasterCard, Paypal, Visa and the Ecocash MasterCard and Virtual MasterCard.
“Jive has signed a distribution deal with Diamond Studios which will see all artistes signed with Diamond benefiting from the platform,” Nyandoro said.
“We are also engaging Gramma Records so that they can appreciate how the system works. As you may know, these companies have been approached by different organisations some of them dubious and they have become very sceptical, so it may take a long time to seal the deal.”
He said for Zimbabwean artistes, the platform would come in more attractive than other international platforms.
“For Zimbabwean artistes, this will be better than even iTunes where putting your music there will be a drop in the ocean,” Nyandoro said.
“This platform will help Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to connect with what is happening on the ground. For example, Charles Charamba’s new album that is being launched tonight [last night] will be available on Jive Zimbabwe since he has a distribution deal with Diamond Studios.
“With Jive Zimbabwe, the world will have direct contact with what will be happening on the ground and Zimbabweans all over the
world will maintain or enhance their identity.”
Nyandoro said so far, they had signed musicians like Sulumani Chimbetu, Jah Prayzah, Jean Masters, Tariro neGitare and Marcy Janure, while they were also on the verge of finalising deals with Soul Jah Love and Chillspot Records.
He said the initiative would act as a pilot to motivate other sectors in the country to embrace information communication technology (ICT).
“Today, it is music, but tomorrow it will be another sector of the economy. We want this to work in tandem with the economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset),” he said.
“We are distributing only Zimbabwean products to the world and that should influence others to take a cue in the use of ICT.”
Nyandoro, however, said although the launch would not necessarily thwart piracy, it would go a long way in promoting responsible use of content bought.
“There is what is called Digital Rights Management (DRM) which we can put in place to make sure when music is downloaded it will be encrypted in such a way that it is used for the purpose of playing only, but the challenge is there are campaigns worldwide for anti-DRM,” he said.
“What we may invest is too high in putting in place DRM as compared to what anyone would invest in cracking that software.
“So we are pushing our music to the huge population that is failing to access music, while we also encourage those who pirate to act responsibly and consider the musicians who toil every day.”