A 25 year old creative Motswana, Sylvester Lapisang is taking on Apple with his version of an online music store. Apple’s itunes store, which is probably the world’s biggest online store for digital media is globally known.
It has a huge selection of music that works seamlessly with every computer or mobile phone. You can search, browse, preview, purchase and download music through itunes.
Lapisang, has invented a similar version, but this time a website specifically for selling local music online. The interactive website is called Music BW and the link for the site is www.musicbw.com
He said the intention for creating this website was to sell convenience to Batswana.
“I want to make music affordable to Batswana. I want local music to be accessible to everyone,” he explained. Lapisang who invented a local version of Facebook called Skimtym in 2012 said he has been working on the project for a long time. “I was still working on how people would purchase the music online,” he said. The inventive young man said he made an observation that the current distribution was not working for the current generation. “People want to buy music they could carry around,” he said. Lapisang cited the current distribution as the main contributor to the low music sales.
“CDs are expensive for people and it is also expensive for artists to reach people in the far corners of the country,” Furthermore, Lapisang said the current idea would be very convenient for people because of the universal access of the Internet.
“Music BW would reach all the corners of the country”. He said thus far people had been able to welcome the new development because they can easily buy music using their mobile devices. Lapisang added that artists these days give out their music for free downloads because they have no choice.
He said he aims to improve that because mostly artists release mixtapes and singles.
“It is hard to sell singles on CDs, so Music BW would help address this.”
The innovative young man said Music BW would not only improve access but it will help reduce piracy. “People pirate music not because of affordability but rather accessibility,” he said. Music BW would become a central stage where people could find music.
In addition, he said because most Batswana do not trust the internet enough to give out their credit card details, a voucher will be sold around for easy purchase. “They would be more like airtime vouchers and the code will be used more than once depending on the price of the song,” he said.
Lapisang was quick to explain that the music would be for personal use only.
Lapisang explained that they have no affiliation with COSBOTS because they deal with royalties.
“COSBOTS said we don’t need their licence because we deal with individual artists,” he said. Lapisang said so far no artists had come forward but he had been sensitising the music world about this.
He said artists should see this website as an empowerment.
“We want to give artists a motivation to produce high quality music,” he said. As for the purchasing of the songs, he said people would be given a chance to sample the song for 30 seconds before they could buy it. Lapisang added that the music pricing would depend on the time of release.
He said their collection would include, fresh, popular, classic and vintage songs.