6 businesses that are changing SA's music game

As the music world continues to evolve and change in a rapid way across the world, these South African businesses are creating unique ways to revitalise the local music industry and cater to its consumers.

Howard Music.
Howard Music.

South African music businesses are often the key to developing a strong and thriving industry. They've had to adapt and change with the rapid progress that technology has afforded the music world. Additionally, the decline of CD sales and increase in digital downloads has contributed to a change in outlook over what the needs of local artists and their fans are.

In 2015, the Recording Industry of South Africa decreased the number of copies artists need to sell to reach gold or platinum status. Gold and platinum status in the country used to be 25 000 and 50 000 respectively. These days, they have been downgraded to 15 000 and 30 000 copies.

One could easily take a look at this decline as an indication that the South African music industry is in trouble but this mimics a decline in CD sales worldwide. With that said, there has been more of an open-arms embrace for what live venues, streaming services and digital sales platforms can offer artists and their fans.

Here are seven music businesses across South Africa contributing unique skills and services that are much needed in the industry.

1. Howard Music

Having operated as a smaller studio for a long time, Howard Music (now Howard Audio) was recently renovated as part of a multi-million rand project. The studio, located in Bryanston, Johannesburg, is not only a stroke of genius but an inspiringly beautiful space for any creative. Founded by UK-born composer Adam Howard, the studio has flourished as one of the industry’s most trusted post production hubs. Their business plan is simple – providing the best in final mix, voice overs, album production and musical direction for corporate events and other services. Howard Music was selected as the official audio post-production facility for the 2011 Loerie Awards. They have an arsenal of high-profile clients, including TBWA Hunt/Lascaris, Draft FCB, Y&R, Ogilvy, JWT, Metropolitan Republic, Leo Burnett, Lowe Bull, Creatrix, Saatchi & Saatchi and Human.

2. Bozza

Many musicians struggle to get their music onto online distribution platforms because of a number of different hurdles. Bozza sought to bridge this gap. The start-up has been around since 2013 and essentially serves as Africa's digital marketplace for content media and entertainment. On this platform, creatives, musicians, artists and the like can gain exposure to large volumes of fans across Africa who have signed up to the service. It provides a platform that enables artists to connect to their fans through their own curated content that is available on mobile and desktop. The plug-and-play application is home to musicians, poets, photographers and filmmakers looking to promote and sell their digital products online. The platform retains 30% of sales made while the artist gets 70%. More than 7 000 artists have signed up for the service all over Africa and they have since had 10 000 content items on the site.