Online platforms turn into gold mine for local artistes

21 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Online platforms turn into gold mine for local artistes Jah Prayzah

Society Reporters

THE social media craze might have its fair share of controversies and baggage, but local artistes seem to have found a way of making a fortune from it, especially through online revenue accruing from royalties for their work.

Until recently, local artistes, mostly musicians, used to heavily rely on live shows and album sales as their primary source of income.

Those who failed to attract huge crowds often struggled financially.

However, in recent times, artistes are now increasingly monetising social media platforms. Platforms like YouTube, iTunes, TikTok, Spotify, CD Baby and SoundCloud have become gold mines for many singers.

Below is a list of some of the country’s artistes who are fully exploiting social media.

 Jah Prayzah

The lanky singer is one of the local artistes with a good following on social media and is arguably the best-performing local musician on streaming platforms.

According to online sources, Apple Music can pay as much as US$7 000 to artistes who would have managed a million streams, while iTunes can shell out as much as US$10 000 for a similar figure.

Facebook also pays artistes according to the views that a particular video would have attracted.

Jah Prayzah’s camp, however, was not at liberty to divulge figures pertaining to their rich pickings online.

Holy Ten

Holy Ten

Holy Ten is also seemingly earning a fortune on YouTube.

Musicians who upload their music on YouTube might actually earn more than their counterparts who rely on live shows.

With YouTube, an artiste is paid according to the number of views garnered.

Payouts range between US$50 and US$70 per 10 000 views.

For garnering 100 000 views, one can rake in between US$500 and US$700.

Between US$2 500 and US$3 000 is paid to content producers who would have garnered at least 500 000 views.

Those who breach a million views receive a paycheque of between US$5 000 and US$7 000. Holy Ten’s latest project, “Risky Life 2”, has 13 songs, most of which have surpassed the 100 000 mark.

The song “Banga”, in which he features with his wife Kimberly Richard, had garnered over 2,2 million views by the time of going to print.

From the 13 songs off the latest project, the total views garnered by Thursday last week were moving towards the four million mark.

This roughly translates to over US$30 000 in revenue.

 Comic Elder

Only until last year, comedian Leroy Zaware, who is popularly known as Comic Elder, was a virtual unknown, who, according to those close to him, was struggling financially.

Thanks to social media, the actor, who is better known for his skit “Tongo Risker”, has become a “celebrity” who is taking home amounts he never imagined he would get as an actor. “All I can say is that I am surviving through social media. The least amount of money that I can take home per month is US$500,” said Comic Elder.

He has also resorted to live performances to cater for fans who do not have easy access to social media platforms.

Enzo Ishall

Enzo Ishall recently claimed he was pocketing at least US$2 000 per month from social media. His followership is also making him a regular fixture at corporate functions.

 Mark Ngwazi

The promising sungura singer has successfully turned social media into a cash cow. Ngwazi’s music is readily available on several online platforms, among them Facebook, YouTube, Apple Music and CD Baby.

He has even uploaded his music on French music streaming service provider Deezer. “I uploaded my music on most online music distributors. On a daily basis, royalties are credited to my account,” he said.

Ngwazi could not divulge the actual amount he is raking in through the online platforms. “I cannot divulge such information. This also applies to the charges for live shows. All I can say is that I am getting decent payouts,” he said.

Recently, the viral TikTok video of Grammy award-winning South African singer Tyla singing along to Mark Ngwazi’s song “Taurai Madzoka” typically piqued the interest of many social media followers.


There has been an increase in the number of artistes locked in wrangles over social media royalties. In a much-publicised case, dancehall musician Jah Signal’s song “Sweetie” was withdrawn from the YouTube channel after musicians Pastor Charles and Olivia Charamba accused him of illegally remixing the couple’s song titled “Kana Vanhu Vangu”.

The song had garnered over six million views on the channel.

In 2021, Tocky Vibes and ExQ wrangled over royalties for the song “Wakatemba”.

The feud was ignited by royalties from social media hits.

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