Speaking at the launch, COSOMA Senior Licensing Officer Rozario Kamanga said: Time has come for artists in Malawi to market their content on a platform owned by them. Apmcstore.com is the only online store that is owned by the artists themselves through their respective rights holder associations such as Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) and Visual Arts Association of Malawi (VAAM) since part of the initial capital of the project came from them.
“It is, again, for this reason that its motto is Waluso Akolore, meaning that the primary motivation for setting it up was to benefit the creator.”
For a long time the country’s artists have been struggling to market their creative works online.
Kamanga said the country lucked a comprehensive online platform for marketing artistic work.
The online arts store was also set up to check piracy of physical products, especially music CDs and DVDs.
Kamanga said the virtual store is user-friendly and uses PayPal and Airtel Money as payment platforms for streaming and downloads.
“The unique feature about this platform is that it is transparent.. It allows artists at any point in time to check how much their works have earned,” said Kamanga.
He said the tool will improve artists’ earnings since it has created another income stream apart.
One of the beneficiaries of the newly-established platform is musician Skeffa Chimoto who received MK3 million in royalties From Airtel downloads in August.
“I am thankful to COSOMA for coming up with this initiative because it will greatly improve the economic welfare of artists,” said Chimoto.
Meanwhile, COSOMA’s component of Integrated Arts Development project – Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative - Has started producing and distributing CDs and DVDs in a bid to stabilize the country’s arts market.
By Howard Mlozi - The Nation