“By 2020 we will have an extensive digital library of Botswana music”
In response to the challenges faced by Batswana creatives, especially the ever diminishing returns from their work Intellegere Music has launched the #BWMADE app as an efficient way to access a global audience which presents them with the opportunity to earn from their works.
“Due to the nature of the project and the market, we are so far satisfied with the results and the outcome because its expensive to change mindsets. We have managed to get artists thinking about improving revenue streams and also consumers to start buying local music. Consumers have been used to the ‘app me’ mindset, but now some are moving towards the ‘why isn’t it not on #BWMADE’ mindset,” said the CEO of Intellegere Holdings, Itumeleng Garebatshabe.
By 2020, Garebatshabe said they will have an extensive digital library of Botswana music and maybe by end of 2019 the country will host its very own award ceremony based on tangible statistical data. The BETA version of the app was released in January 2018 to a selected worldwide audience and the testing ran up until June when the production version was released to the world except for Botswana. On the 23rd of August 2018 downloads were opened up for Botswana and there were positive reviews from Batswana living outside the country. There were over 10k downloads of the app on Google Play and other android stores.
“From August to December, Chubbito formerly Chub Heightz was the most streamed/sampled artist on the app. Peter by Bouncy has been the most sampled track (December – January ). We have exclusive licensing with record labels like Marked Men Records and Heart Beat Sounds which has also improved the production and distribution focus, hence why both of their artists are number 1 on the platform,” Garebatshabe revealed, adding that they have established artists like Charma Gal whose brand is moving towards digital, breaking off from her genre peers.
Garebatshabe laments that most artists are still stuck in the free sharing phase including established artists so they are currently educating local artists on the importance of selling music and taking advantage of the platform.
Despite these challenges they are now moving into phase 2 of the music app which involves more streaming. According to the market research data and app usage people are ready for the streaming service which is also the global trend. They are also working on the physical CD store for music collectors and purists who are still anti-technology.
“To make clients adhere to quality and professionalism we will be using a subscription model to enlist interested artists in our stores. In recognition that these artists are struggling to make ends meet we have come up with different models for each and every store,” he concluded.