Friday, 22 November 2013

New web application ready to transform image of local music

A Codesync staff members demonstrates
 A Codesync staff members demonstrates how the application operates.

Kampala- As Ugandan artistes wait for strengthening of the copyright law, a group of youth has been looking for a solution to this.
The fruition of their thoughts is MyZiki, a mobile and web application where artists can sell their music using local payment methods.
Ms Christine Ampaire, who heads the team that developed this application, says it can also use international payment methods such as Visa for Ugandans living outside the country.
“We believe that as our IT sector grows, our IT solutions need to be useful to the everyday Ugandan and African,” says Ms Ampaire of Codesync, an Information and Technology (IT) development company in Kampala.
Promoting local talent
The inspiration to develop MyZiki emanated from the team’s love for Ugandan and African music.
“We wanted to provide artists in Uganda and Africa within due time, with an online platform where they can sell their music to the local through mobile money and the international market through already established online payment platforms like visa, Paypal, master card and many more,” she adds.
So far, there are 52 artistes signed onto this app. Ms Ampaire explains: “For every artist interested in using our platform, we sign a contract simply saying they have allowed us to sell their music on their behalf and that they own the content, after which we open an account and upload their music.”
She said artists take 60 per cent off each song of theirs purchased on MyZiki. At the end of the month, the artists can withdraw their money.
Each song costs Shs1,500 for those using mobile money and $1 for those using international pay platforms such as Visa.
Besides, the 40 per cent the team earns off each song sold on the site, it is looking at endorsements and partnerships with different companies within and outside the industry.
But the challenge Ms Ampaire points at for now is that MyZiki is still a fresh idea in the music industry and they need to get the word out there.
“As a young startup, the funds for a full-fledged marketing budget are not in place but this forces us to be as innovative as possible,” she says.
“This idea was conceived in April last year during a 54-hour hackathon at the Kampala edition of the Startup Weekend. We won second place for the prototype we had built in the two days of the hackathon.”
Ms Ampaire says they continue to learn and work on this platform as they believe it has the potential to change the way music is consumed in Uganda.
“We are soon launching other versions so as to make it available on every smart phone.”