South Africa joins digital music mainstream - only one royalty is paid for the purchase of a physical...

South Africa joins digital music mainstream - only one royalty is paid for the purchase of a physical product vs streaming which is a royalty per individual stream

This week South African music duo Darkie Fiction’s song Bhoza made it on to Apple Music’s A-List of songs out of Africa for 2018, placing them among the continent’s superstars.

The independent new-age kwaito duo was formed just over a year ago and released their debut EP Sobabini in July. Five months later, the duo is topping the charts with big African stars, such as Wizkid and Davido, who, on average, have between 1.3-million and 2.6-million listeners a month on music-streaming platform Spotify. Newcomer Darkie Fiction, with just 319 listeners, is rubbing shoulders with the giants.

It does not mention what amount the revenue grew from, but database company Statista said South African income from the music-streaming segment was $21-million in 2018.

“It has certainly changed the way that South Africans consume music and it is significantly helping with the fight against piracy as music streaming as a value offering is such an affordable and attractive means to consuming music,” said Warrick Percy, the head of licensing and business development at the Composers Authors and Publishers Association.

It’s not just global music stars: tax agencies are also grappling with how to get revenue from these offshore electronic service providers.

There are currently more than 250 electronic service providers registered with the South African Revenue Service, which said revised regulations, expected to come into effect in April 2019, would broaden the scope of electronic services.

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SA joins digital music mainstream
The demand for music streaming services is growing as digital sales outstrip physical ones

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