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New Skiza tune 40pc earnings sweet music to artistes’ ears

SCOM

Safaricom headquarters on Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

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Summary

  • Musicians will now get 40 percent of sales generated by Safaricom’s Skiza tunes in latest review by the mobile telecommunication operator.
  • Safaricom announced Monday that artistes’ earnings on sales generated from their tunes have been revised upwards by a third from the current 30 percent, effective July 1.

Musicians will now get 40 percent of sales generated by Safaricom’s Skiza tunes in latest review by the mobile telecommunication operator.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM announced Monday that artistes’ earnings on sales generated from their tunes have been revised upwards by a third from the current 30 percent, effective July 1.

The news is a double boost for musicians coming in the same month the State exempted ringtones from excise tax in a bid to increase the amounts that local artistes earn from the use of their songs in mobile phone.

“Our decision to increase artist and content-creators’ revenue share by 33 percent will act as a further boost to the creative industry to support talent growth and sustainability,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom chief executive.

Skiza is an advertising service in which an audio message is played on the outgoing calls of Safaricom subscribers as they wait for their calls to connect, instead of the standard waiting tone or other forms of ring back tones.

Callers on Safaricom network pay up to Sh1.50 daily for every local Skiza tune they upload as ringtone.

Safaricom in 2009 launched Skiza service, giving artists 7.5 percent of revenue generated from their tunes, which have so far been subscribed to by more than 9 million customers.

The telco has over time been increasing the artists’’ share of revenue taking it to 30 percent in 2017 on the back of negotiations with Kenya Association of Music Producers, Performers Rights Society of Kenya and Music Copyright Society of Kenya.

The State has in recent times stepped up efforts to protect the earnings of local artists for the use of their songs following outcry over meagre royalties.

Kenya last year introduced a centralised system for collection of the royalties that targets to net up to Sh2 billion annually, from the current Sh200 million.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said businesses that use artists’ songs will be required to show proof of royalty payment to have their licences renewed.