Will Spotify be a game-changer for SA music artists?


"iPhone cellphone apps"

"iPhone cellphone apps"

JOHANNESBURG -  Music industry representatives and artists see opportunities in the arrival of Spotify in South Africa.

The world’s largest global music-streaming subscription service is to launch locally this month.

4 Billion Records owner Thabo Mantshiu said his label welcomed the news.

"Spotify will make a difference - our music will be heard, our music will be out there," he said.

"With ITunes you need an iPhone, with Spotify you can use any phone, which creates a bigger space.”

READ: Spotify to launch in SA this month

Recording Industry South Africa and the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) say the move is a game-changer.

“We hope whatever they are putting together as a system benefits local artists and is not necessarily another engine to benefit internationals," said Samro&39;s Nkateko Maluleke.

"We will be watching it very closely.

"“Until now the company has been quiet on its plans to expand to South Africa. But it looks like the days of trying to configure one&39;s computer in order to access the music-streaming service could be over. Spotify is set to make its much-anticipated announcement next Tuesday,&39; he said.

According to a PwC report, there is great potential for growth in the local music-streaming market.

This is because of a shift from people wanting to own music to them wanting access to an unlimited library at their convenience.

Charles Stuart, an associate director in the PwC in our Technology, Communications & Entertainment division, the decline in digital downloading is being replaced by "the massive and rapid increase that we’re seeing in music streaming".

"In our outlook we forecast it’s going to grow by about 35 percent. So the market is going to move from about a R120-million in 2016 to about R520-million in 2021.So massive growth there.”

Up-and-coming artists are also excited.

Rapper DJ Sabby said: “If Spotify is coming to offer South African artists a bridge to First World countries then it is a great deal ... I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us”

Rapper YKS, said Spotify would appeal to a young audience: “These platforms get us out there. Not every young person is on radio, and they prefer digital ... I, as an artist, want to reach every corner of the world.”

DJ TT Phasha said although the well-known artists "will always benefit more, it’s an opportunity for everybody”.