It is past midnight, about 3am in the morning, I am up looking for some new music and news. I have streamed, Nasir, Ye, Everything is Love, and Kids See Ghost and relistened to The New Wave 1 & 2 ( which are a favourite)
A thought hits me, “I haven’t listened to Mungi’s new album!” And ideally I only knew one place where the music is: Sulapay.com. I visit a link I had seen days ago, and it leads me to oMungi Atibwa, am excited, am earger to listen!
I follow all prompts, paid for the Music, with my mobile money and waited for the link: well it arrived 6 hours later (shall explain later)
As an innovation, Sulapay made it easy to access the album without a long process: Given that, some banks here take long to issue you a Visa card or if they do, it doesn’t have much rights.
Why should we embrace Sulapay?
There are fans and real supporters who would love to show appreciation for the music many artists produce yearly but because some stores are somewhat difficult for them to use, they desist from using them all together.
Years ago there was a similar platform (like Sulapay) that was dedicated to music alone but it became unpopular – Myziki any one?
I find that we cannot escape modern technology like the platform Sulapay. We are on the way to an absolute cashless society.
I received the download link 6 hours later, and the people at Sulapay rang my phone and inquired whether I had successfully downloaded the album. I was busy complaining on my Twitter and there I was rescued.
The past weeks I have seen positive remarks by individuals who have happened to receive the music through the platform. iTunes, Spotify and other related platforms allow you to purchase products through Visa or PayPal – which is a limiting factor for some.
If you only have mobile money on your phone it is easy to purchase the projects we are interested in.
The beauty is that, the content is Ugandan and easy to find. Personally I find the opportunity for many individuals involved in making artistic work vacant, ready to be utilised.
Think of Sulapay as another local means to generating revenue the easiest way possible. I am ideally not refusing anyone from using other platforms: we all know that for most individuals in Uganda, mobile money trasactions are the safest and easy means for most Ugandans.
Note: it is easy to transact over this platform, just a matter of following a few prompts and you are good.
An artist or record label simply needs an account and they start selling. I believe if Sulapay innovates more they can create the sense of supporting Ugandan art.
The flip side
Sulapay is not a dedicated streaming service, it is more of a catalogue market where you simply sell and buy products not limited to digital products.
As regards music and film, they have to make more innovation to attract users. For instance, a player is not in place for one to stream before they could actually buy or download.
I think they need to consider innovating more and making the platform more attractive for users – to preview and sample before they settle with (trust me there are people like these)
Nonetheless – It being the beginning; we shall have to patiently wait as they grow with the industry.
Ugandans we need to tap into different innovations in the music industry to help grow and develop it.
Note: this article was written before the government’s move to introduce the Social Media and Mobile money taxes.
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