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What do you think of these models? Music in South Africa

So, I promised a follow up to my post last week, but instead of following up in the same vein, I thought I'd take a different approach. I started thinking about different ways in which artists could get their music out, and possibly monetize it too.

1. The Radiohead model

A time limited offer where customers are invited to pay whatever they think the album is worth, with a minimum value. Might be worth testing a completely open model where customers can enter whaveter they like tested against a model where a minimum price is already set, i.e. – “pay anything from R10 up for this album.”

2. Freemium

Selected tracks are made available for free in order to give customers an idea of what they can expect to hear on the album. So, one or two tracks available for free and the rest are for sale at a premium.

3. Standard Digital Model
This works like any traditional online download store (itunes, etc)

There are two options here:

1. The label/artists sets up their own site and the album is available for download at a set price from the website via an ecommerce solution. Customers are able to purchase singles, or the full album.

2. Listing with existing download stores (itunes,, etc) and make the album available that way.

4. Standard Delivery Model

Have the album listed for sale at online shopping portals (e.g. and available for purchase with delivery handled by the online store.

5. Mobile

5.1 Premium rate SMS service for singles using WAP

Customers send a sms to a premium rate number and receive the song of their choice available for download via WAP. This only applies to singles. Again, there are 2 options here:

1. The label/artist creates their own message service and supplies directly.

2. Registering with an existing service (35050, etc) and having them manage the distribution.

5.2 Premium rate SMS service for albums using internet

Customers send a sms to a premium rate number and receive a download link to download the entire album. This link can then be entered into a web browser and the album can be downloaded.

5.3 Mxit Music

I’m not exatly sure of how the business model for Mxit music works yet, but it’s good to see that the Mobile Instant Messaging giant has taken an interest in the music industry. My initial take on the service is that local artists can upload their music to Mxti Music for free, once their track is on the Mxit chart users will be able to preview tracks for free and download full tracks at a cost of 250 Moola (R2.50) each.

You can read more on this service here:

If you can think of any more channels, please drop me a comment or send me an email using the contact form.

Cheers for now,


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