OPINION: What if Soundcloud paid musicians! - Martin, Mdundo CEO

Music is something I am very passionate about. Growing up I was quite intrigued by the amazing artistry bands and musicians have. I love to collect CDs and I have a whole wall of them at home bringing back memories of various live concerts.

Without getting too much into those details I actually only have one thing to say in this post; Soundcloud is a company and they make money on your music! When you “agree to terms and conditions” you sign a legally binding contract, exactly like you do with any record label or distributor in the world, the only difference is that the Soundcloud contract entitles you to NOTHING.

We live in a time where music doesn’t have to cost anything. Fans can find it online whether you want it or not, available on Youtube, Waptrick and Soundcloud, easy to download.

Let’s consider music as a piece of content, like a book, a picture, a video or a news story. All this content is easy to copy and the Internet has made it available everywhere. Luckily, the power of the Internet is that everything that attracts attention can be turned in to revenue - through advertisers.

You read news for free at Nation.co.ke, and Nation pay its journalists, right? You watch videos for free on Youtube, and Youtube pay the creators (a little), right? You listen to music on Soundcloud. But wait! They don’t pay anything!? Soundcloud has 200,000,000 listeners and they are not paying anything to musicians. Still Soundcloud is the most used service to release music online in Kenya. Why?

Mdundo want to change this. We want to make a sound cloud for African music where fans easily can access music. The difference is that we share the revenue made on the website fairly and transparent with the musicians (to date 4ksh per download to the artist).

We appreciate all the thoughts, critics and concerns we have received since we started and we keep working towards a day where we don’t have to mention piracy anymore - who would pirate music if it’s faster and easier to get it legally?

“There are millions of people who consume music illegally every month. Just getting them into a legal service will make the music industry way bigger than it's ever been before” – Daniel Ek, CEO Spotify.

Thanks for the support,

- Martin, Mdundo.com

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