o chase away the lockdown blues that the country is going through, South Africans have turned to music for solace and companionship. Regrettably, this has resulted in an unfortunate and alarming increase in online music piracy, RiSA!
The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) has embarked on efforts to raise awareness about music piracy and making a call to music lovers to access music from legitimate platforms such as Vodacom My Muze, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, Joox, Simfy Africa, Deezer, and YouTube Music.
“Our records show the most popular infringements are on some of the biggest hits in South Africa right now, leading the pack is eMcimbini by Kabza de Small, Love Letter by Blaq Diamond, Tender Love by Sha Sha featuring DJ Maphorisa, Umlilo by DJ Zinhle, and Love You Tonight by MFR Souls,” shares RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi.
According to RiSA, also targeted are songs such as You’re The One by Elaine, SAD by Jethro Tait, Jerusalem by Master KG and Nomcebo, including The Box by Roddy Ricch.
“Also hardest hit is the popular award-winning gospel ensemble Joyous Celebration. Their latest album Joyous 24 has been heavily pirated and songs are being shared on a WhatsApp line that is publicly asking music lovers to text so that they can receive the music,” says RiSA.
RiSA also states that the statistics have proved that the songs that were legally downloaded the most in the period preceding the lockdown (a mean average of 8 170 songs per week, using a list of top 40 high priority titles) have taken a knock (down to 7 221).
RiSA’s Nhlanhla Sibisi lamented the state of affairs: “This is our desperate plea to the music-loving public to refrain from piracy and do the right thing by accessing music from legitimate sources. The message has been sent out for many years, that piracy robs musicians out of what should be their hard-earned money.
“We ask music lovers to support real talent. Musicians make a living from sales of their music and keeping piracy alive will only result in an impoverished music scene. We understand that the current lockdown in the country has left many in need of entertainment, but let’s support our artists the right way and not commit a criminal offence.”
Music has become more affordable, and in some cases freely accessible, funded by advertisers.
- Vodacom My Muze has different packages available including a weekly recurring tier that gives access to three full track download credits.
- Joox has a VIP package of R89.99 as well as advertiser-funded free access.
- Tidal costs R120 a month.
- Apple Music and Deezer provide a broad music catalogue from R59.99 a month.
- Spotify costs R59.99 a month and they have advertiser-funded free packages.
- Google Play Music goes for R49.99 a month.
- Simfy Africa is at R25 a month.
- YouTube Music has a premium package starting from R71.99 as well as advertiser-funded free access.
RiSA affirms that there is no reason to pirate music and supporting unscrupulous sources is theft that hurts the artist. At the rate things are going, there will be a lot of damage done by the time things go back to normal.