Administrators of Malawi music.com have dismissed emerging reports implicating them in music download scandal in which they are accused of forging downloads for selected musicians to boost their popularity.
The website administrators have also dismissed claims by some artists that they demand money in order to be promoted on the website and to have their music’ downloads tweaked.
The country main music website www.malawi-music.com was implicated in the story Nyasa Times carried on Monday which offered screen shots-captured on different dates- of music charts on the website with downloads of some renowned artists vary.
However, the administrators attributed the variation to how such downloads are generated.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Malawi music.com official, Dingaani Whayo said it was impossible for the administrators to forge downloads which are automatically generated by the website’s system.
“Firstly, I’d like to deny in the strongest terms that our download numbers are in any way forged by the administrators. These numbers are generated automatically showing weekly (7 day) downloads updated every
day,” said Whayo.
Whayo said the weekly music charts posted on the website’s home page do not indicate total downloads but rather a seven-day download which is systematically updated on daily basis.
The website has three components, the Artist column which shows views on the artist’s profile, Album column which shows number of views musicians’ songs get, and the Song column which depicts total number
of song downloads.
“For instance, today’s downloads will be calculated from last week Tuesday to this present day (Tuesday) and so on. The Weekly Top 20 chart is not a reflection of total downloads and does not claim to be. This misunderstanding of the chart mechanism has been used as an excuse for some people to justify their claims we forge downloads,” clarified Whayo.
He added: “Secondly, we do not charge nor have we ever charged artists any money as has been claimed by the anonymous artist to have their music promoted or uploaded as this is in direct opposition to our beliefs and mission.”
Whayo said the website is operated based on merit and the administrators have strict policy for selecting songs submitted to them based on overall production quality.
“Our model is not based on payola as is the case with most radio broadcasts. The popularity of our website has been a result of this policy coupled with the following strengths, creative software development & marketing team, and good relationships with a wide ranging array of artists in the Malawian music industry.”
Malawi music.com has proven to be the first of its kind offering a digital publishing platform for music in Malawi and perhaps the whole SADC region incorporating a credit/debit card and mobile money payment
system for digital music purchases.
Artists selling their music through the website earn 70 percent of the sales revenue while 30 percent is retained as administrative commission, the development which has seen some artists like Anthony Makondetsa, who rely on CD sales and performances, pocketing cash from online music sales.
Currently, Nesnes, Gwamba, Saint, Trumel and Blackjak are some of the urban artists commanding music sales on the website with ED, Makondetsa, Limani Simenti and Naotcha CCAP choir also selling their music on the website.
Whayo has however bemoaned lack of financial inclusion and literacy as
some of the issues affecting online music sales which can be easily purchased using electronic payment systems such as mobile money.
“Most people don’t understand how to use some of these electronic payment systems and the institutions offering such services need to civic educate the masses on the importance of such services as well as incorporating music selling platforms for the benefit of both the artists and the society,” he said.
Whayo encourage all Malawians in Diaspora and friends of Malawi to visit the website and buy music from their favourite artists, just like they do on iTunes or Amazon.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :