The recently launched music streaming platform JOOX South Africa aims to help promote local music and musicians through a strong catalogue of local artists and by partnering with major South African music events.
JOOX launched in South East Asia three and a half years ago and is now growing across seven countries across Asia as well as South Africa. JOOX South Africa, the first market outside Asia, just celebrated their one year anniversary.
We got in touch with Thabiet Allie, the chief commercial officer of music for Tencent Africa, the company behind the JOOX app development, to chat streaming in South Africa, piracy and global music consumption trends.
What sets JOOX apart from other South African music streaming sites?
JOOX is really behind music in all senses. We’re music’s biggest fan. We are all about connecting fans with their favourite music and artists, whatever their taste in music.
We have a large local team focused on ensuring our platform offers the widest variety of both local and international music and have secured exclusive partnerships with local independent labels to ensure that our listeners get first access to the latest content.
We have sponsored a number of events that showcase artists across genres to continue to support music such as KKNK, Red Bull Music Festival, CTEMF, and #GqominConcert.
Has there been a significant drop in piracy since music streaming sites hit the local market?
Piracy is an endemic, global problem for artists. A series of initiatives are being worked through by the local and international music industry. Streaming plays an important role in the solution, making music far more accessible to more people than ever so that they can properly support the music and musicians they love.
How many users does JOOX currently have?
Globally, JOOX has more than 100 million registered users. The interesting thing about streaming is that, with large, diverse audiences, brands are also interested in collaborating on the platform.
Can the app be used on other devices besides mobile?
Currently available on iOS and Google Play store. Requires iOS 8.0 or later compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or Android 4.1 and up.
What’s the story behind the name JOOX?
A play on words; the modern day equivalent of your jukebox.
What local artists are you currently excited about and who do you think deserves to get more recognition?
Kwesta, Rouge, and Drake are on repeat in the JOOX office, they have phenomenal talent. There’s so much local talent to showcase and we are constantly adding new, emerging artists. Check out our New School Transformers playlist.
How does the payment to your catalogue of artists work?
Streaming works by giving a royalty to the label each time there is a stream or a song is played. Labels have standardised the approach across all streaming music platforms, which makes it fair for artists.
How do you see our consumption of music changing in the future?
Music will increasingly be streamed around the world. Last year, 52% of global music revenue came from digital sales (including streaming) compared to 30% physical sales.
What would you say are the music industry trends for 2019?
The local and international music trend we are seeing even now is far more international collaborations experimenting with different genres, artists and beats. The Black Panther soundtrack and Gqom was only the start.
What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
Listening to JOOX new music playlists where you know nothing about what is in them or what to expect. Like Russian roulette. Also Maxwell from the early 2000s.
JOOX is available for free download on iOS and Google Play. The VIP package is free for the first month after which it costs R59.99 per month.
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