It is clear at this point that technology has greatly changed how music is consumed. The Web has bridged the gap that was there, both in terms of time and distance.
Artists have profited, as well. They currently have numerous methods of making their music accessible to the general society. They interact with their followers in so many ways. The coming in of Facebook, YouTube and other online media platforms has simplified live feeding and interactions between artists and followers.
Connected to that, artists now hold virtual music shows, which are generally less expensive as compared to physical shows.
With the phasing out of physical music stores, the advancement in technology has made music distribution simpler and effective. There are several digital music outlets where with minimal spending artists upload their music.
Today, there is no compelling reason to duplicate audio/video into cassettes or compact disks and to subcontract sales agents in all geographical locations to handle music sales.
Be that as it may, the above assertions are excessively broad for Malawian up-and-coming musicians. To them, music is such an item which must be forced on consumers who already have their musical tastes.
They must do their homework well to find a space.
That calls for massive promotion. Unlike in the conventional era where the frequency of air plays depended on listeners or viewers requests, mostly the digital space requires an up-and-coming artist to contact the audience than the other way round. No random listener searches, listens and downloads music of someone who does not exist in their vocabulary. Simply; you are ignored by those who are ignorant of you.
As said, the digital music platform demands digital campaigns and social media has proven to be so effective. Vast majority spend their time on social media than on traditional media. Where the principal digital influencers cannot highlight an upcoming artist’s content and draw page readers’ attention to him, an artist must do it by himself.
To connect with as many people as possible (past family and friends), digital platforms require paid up campaigns which are pushed to others.
In particular, digital marketers will tell that video content pulls in a greater number of views than simple content. Also, an artist should post as often as possible to draw in would-be followers.
As it can be seen, among such countless difficulties that upcoming musicians face including content creation and page management, the high cost of uploading video content on the Internet, in general is demotivating. The same goes together with keeping the page and content engaging.
Both the social media platforms and the digital music outlets should have better platforms for upcoming artists to generate income. There are fewer middlemen involved. For example, YouTube starts to monetize an artist when his channel gets at least 1 000 subscribers, 4000 hours of watch time in the previous year or attracts adverts.
Likewise, the artist is hit by the higher cost of digital media campaigns, content uploads and page maintenance, the would-be followers and admirers are hit too by high internet cost. They find it difficult to buy internet data bundle to watch and like music videos.
The same is true with Facebook and other platforms. Just as musicians cried over piracy in the days of compact disks, today most music is illegally shared via WhatsApp platforms, blame it on high internet cost as not many people can afford to make their own downloads.
Plainly, when Malawians from different backgrounds are calling out for lower internet charges, a cry from an up-and-coming music artist cries out louder. Nor does he only find it expensive to upload his music, keep up his social media channels and run digital promotions. The very individuals, who should have supported him—by buying his music on digital platforms, give him more watch time on YouTube and make the artist benefit from his talent through royalties and pay-outs—find the Internet costs so exorbitant.