President Uhuru Kenyatta said businesses that use artists’ songs will be required to show proof of royalty payment to have their licences renewed.
Musicians will now have big smile on their face as they begin to get 40 percent of sales generated by Safaricom’s Skiza tunes in latest review by the mobile telecommunication operator.
On Monday, Safaricom #ticker:SCOM announced that artistes’ earnings on sales generated from their tunes have been revised upwards by a third from the current 30 percent, effective July 1.
This good news comes 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.
It’s a double boost for musicians.
“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.
Instead of the standard ring back tones or other forms of ringtones, Safaricom introduced Skiza as 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.
Callers on Safaricom network pay up to Sh1.50 daily for every local Skiza tune they upload as ringtone.
Since its launch in 2009, the Skiza service gave artist a share of 7.5% of revenue generated from their tunes, which have so far been subscribed to by more than 9 million customers.
Over time, the telco has 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.
Recently, the State has stepped up efforts to protect the earnings of local artists for the use of their songs following outcry over small royalties.
A centralized system for royalties collection has been introduced that targets to net up to Sh2 billion annually, from the current Sh200 million.