The Problem with SA Hip Hop part 8: Poor internet connection
04 July 2012
Before the internet, before hip-hop artists could upload music online to be shared with large audiences, they had to rely heavily on the record label to promote and sell their music which gave the label more ownership and money than the artists.
The internet without a doubt has completely changed the way we create, listen, share or sell and promote music. Platforms like Faceook, Twiter, Youtube and various blogs have given artists all over Europe and America the ability to share music with a large audience almost instantly which has resulted in some cd and digital sales reaching millions.
With the ability to share music with large audiences across the web, SA hip-hop artists are starting to create and distribute music on the web, giving out singles to promote their forthcoming albums.
With very low internet access and connection, we are asking the following question Is it really working for us? Are we reaching as large an audience as we hope to?
My answer is NO, I believe we’re still lagging behind Europe, America, Asia and other African countries due to a lack of infrastructure and the high cost of broadband.
A study carried out by Arthur Goldstuck, from World Wide Worx shows that out of the 50 million people living in South Africa, there were only 8.5 million active internet users in 2011. Despite the recent growth, South Africa is still behind other African countries like Nigeria, Kenya and some North African countries.
Currently, just 9.6 percent of residents on the African continent are web-active, compared to 65 percent of those living in Europe
Let’s hope the arrival of an undersea fiber-optic cable, which has about 11 landing points in Africa solves Africans’ Internet access problem. Not just that most South African will finally have internet access, the connection will be fast too. We will be able to watch youtube videos and download music without hustle and that alone should be able to boost our CD or Digital sales, and help to pack our venues because we will be able to reach our fans at almost no cost.
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