New software that detects when a song is played has been introduced within the Kenyan music sector, indicating that artists may now benefit more from royalty collection.
Mziki Trak is an audio logging software which is able to detect when a song or advert is played, how many times it’s played both on radio or television. It also gives additional reports on the specific region where the song has been played from.
According to the software developers, Kaki Gondi, James Mantu and David Sinei, Mziki Trak is aimed at bringing about more transparency when paying out royalties to artists. Speaking to The Star newspaper Kaki Gondi says that though MCSK has a similar software in place, but as a member he has never been able to access the society’s software.
“Artists will have free access of the software on Mziki Trak’s website. This will in turn empower artists to re-invest in their craft which in turn improves the quality of the Kenyan music and entertainment industry,” Gondi says.
In 2011 the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) installed software that would track all songs played by broadcasters as it sought to boost earnings of top artists. The move to implement the electronic log was reached by MCSK board members to replace the use of manual logs submitted by the broadcasters — ending the payment of a flat rate to musicians. MCSK charges broadcasters KSh 216000 ($2045) per year on each radio frequency and television stations KSh72000 ($682) and collects royalties on behalf of more than 5000 musicians.
Mziki Trak developers say the new software will monitor radio and TV airplays, online streaming and music consumer behaviour and provide analytics to artists and businesses.