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Format fighters - finding new digital platforms to release music in SA

Music is my hobby and my passion, and I try to keep up with what's going on around me in the music biz, so it was quite refreshing to see this new angle on distribution from Pioneer Unit, a local hip hop record label.

The boys at Pioneer Unit have been impressing me for some time now with the way that they've taken to the social stream and engaged their audience in a way that puts the consumer in control of the transaction at all times. Here' s a short example:

Facebook:Pioneer Unit Facebook group

Pioneer Unit regularly makes free or exclusive tracks available to members of the Facebook group. The tracks are hosted on a, a free file hosting service, so PU doesn't have to shell out for hosting space. The label has a record out (Planetary Assault) which it also promotes on the group.
In addition to these, the group also makes extensive use of FaceBook video to promote music vidoes made by the artists. FB vid doesn't have the tracking benefits of YouTube, but it seem to be getting the job done

Pioneer Unit has use the Mxit Music facility (still in beta) to make their artists' music widely available and ay a low cost. I received a message on Facebook saying that Rattex (who seemsto be their feature artist) had some music out on Mxit Music.

Rattex has 3 tracks on the MXit Music Audition Charts so users can go and show some love by voting for the track.

To vote for Rattex Mxit users follow these steps

1. Log in to MXit and add MXit Music as a contact via Mxit's Tradepost)

2. Once in MXit Music, enter Charts & Voting

3.… then MXit Auditions

4.… then Voting

If any track gets 500 votes it is entered into the MXit Playlist. Once it’s there users can download the entire track for just 250 Moola (R2.50). Voting is free for users, and if their track gets enough votes, they can then buy it very cheaply.
I think that this is the first of many labels that we'll see going down the route of distributing their music via mxit. As has been noted many times before, South African youth seems to have bypassed the net to a large extent and hopped straight on over to mobile.

This is definitely one of the slicker blogs I've seen lately. The group uses the blog in much the same way as the Facebook group with pictures, videos, and free tracks being available for download directly from the blog. The blog was nominated in the 2008 SA Blog Awards in the music blog category (the winner was the Peak Performances blog).

Damn - I don't have time to finish this post right now. will be back tomorrow with more, I promise.


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