Playlists! New Music! Spotify!

All the playlists I’ve published are now on Spotify, Apple, Deezer and YouTube; and sometimes Soundcloud, Tidal and Google Play.

I’ve been making mixtapes since I was old enough to press play and record at the same time. Yesterday I opened my old box of tapes and it was a treat to look through, but it reminded me that I’ve been rather lazy with publishing my playlists. But now that Spotify has launched in South Africa (I personally invited them in 2007), I thought it’s a good idea to share share share!

These days it’s easier than ever to make your own digital mixtape and publish it on social media. Not everyone uses the same streaming services though, which is why I’ve made dedicated pages (in the side column) for my Spotify and Apple Music playlists, as well as one for Other Services.

All the playlists I’ve published are now on Spotify, Apple, Deezer and YouTube; and sometimes Soundcloud, Tidal and Google Play. You can also follow me on Spotify and never miss a new playlist, as this is my preferred Streaming Service. More playlists coming soon!

Hey online music services, over here!

I just don’t get it. Why hasn’t iTunes’ music offering, Amazon’s mp3 Store, eMusic or a kickass streaming service like Spotify or Rhapsody launched in South Africa yet? There’s so much happening internationally, yet promising developing countries like South Africa aren’t invited to the party. Why?

The most commonly used reasons are licensing issues and the insignificant size of our market when compared to Europe and the U.S. Whatever. This is a massive opportunity being overlooked by the Big Guns. Strikes, lack of infrastructure, and the costs associated with setting up shop in a new territory are not applicable. South Africa is the gateway to Africa, and as far as available music services go there’s very little competition.

Although the iTunes store is open to South Africans, only apps are available for purchase. The choices when using a mobile device are cellular networks and those fly-by-night companies that advertise on eTV. For desktop purchases, music consumers can visit the Nokia OVI Store, Omusic and the newly launched Look & Listen mp3 Store.

For some consumers this is okay, but none of these options excite me. I’m a wannabe tech geek and Apple fan girl with strange music tastes. I want to buy from a platform that I know and trust to just work. Why should I be forced to settle for less because of my geographical location?

It makes even more sense for RiSA to push for an iTunes launch, since the volume of legitimately paid-for sales through the US iTunes store must be staggering. There are many South African websites that make reference to opening a fake US iTunes account, and even more devoted to the sale of iTunes vouchers. Unfortunately, all that money leaves the South African economy… Also, it’s illegal.

There are dozens of forums and sites detailing how to mask a South African IP address to access legitimate music services currently unavailable in South Africa. There are also plenty BitTorrent networks to choose from if you want to rip off artists. In this day and age we’re able to take from cyberspace what we want when we want it, which is why I believe the key to reducing piracy is to make it easier to find and pay for a song than to steal it.

Sure, it takes time to get the licensing agreements and publishing in place, but other international companies have shown that getting local agreements in place can be done. From there the rest of Africa can be a cinch, especially where broadband penetration is better. Where there’s a will, and maybe some smart strategic foresight, there’s a way. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some more international competition in this space soon.