Johannesburg, 7 October 2015 - The South African music industry is suffering. Downloading music - both legally and illegally - is impacting on artists.
The South African music industry is suffering. Downloading music, both legally and illegally, is impacting on artists and changing the face of the music industry completely.
CD sales are at an all-time low and digital music is on the rise, especially, with the increase of online downloading platforms.
Earlier this year, the Recording Industry of South Africa decreased the number of copies artists need to sell to reach gold or platinum status.
“We looked at the continuous decline of CD sales and we’ve noticed that in the past three years, the decline is averaging 30 percent. Now that is a substantial decline. That is making it almost impossible for many artists to reach gold and platinum,” said Nhlanhla Sibisi, Recording Industry of SA.
Usually when South African artists sold 25 000 or 50 000 copies they have attained gold or platinum status but the slump in CD sales has prompted the recording industry to downgrade the gold status to 15 000 copies and platinum to 30 000.
This doesn&39;t mean the consumption of music has dropped. Consumptions has increased with users sharing and downloading songs from any number of online platforms.
Online streaming has also revolutionised the music industry with users opting to stream music on app platforms like Deezer, Nichestreem and Soundcloud.
“Some of the music is now on the phones. If you can see the cars these days, some don’t even have CDs. You have to buy a stick. So therefore you find that file sharing has become the biggest thing and it has a huge impact on artists,” believes Oscar Mdlongwa, Music and Producer.
The trend has hit retailers hard. Look and Listen and Musica have scaled down the number of stores, while Reliable Music Warehouse has closed down completely.
"This isn&39;t only a South African problem, it&39;s a global one. Artists need to find innovative ways of marketing themselves," said Mdlongwa.
Ultimately, reaching gold or platinum status is a nod of approval from the industry. Artists can still go &39;gold&39; on a combination of CDs and downloads.
Artists will still make money whether their audience chooses to get their favourite tunes online or prefer a tangible CD. This is all provided users are downloading legally. Experts say the digital revolution isn&39;t a bad thing as it helps artists reach a bigger audience.