Windhoek – South African rapper JR (real name Thabo Bogopa) has partnered two music executives to launched Fyve, Africa’s first mobile distribution service for independent artists.
Fyve allows artists to upload their music directly from their smartphones.
JR has been working on the app for two years in a quest to create a platform that will ensure independent artists overcome the challenges he faced earlier in his career when he had difficulties distributing his music.
“Artists want to remain in control of their art and that is what the app will provide them with, full control. In the world we are one of four companies globally that offer this service, and we are the only one in Africa,” JR said.
The app is already available in South Africa and will spread to other countries soon. It will distribute music to 39 digital service providers globally, including international streaming giants such as Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.
Sizwe Hlongwane, the MD of Fyve said, “We want to give power back to the artists, we want them to own their music rights. We know of how unfair contracts are amongst record labels and artist and this app will eliminate unfair treatment. The music is a solid platform, we can compete globally, and our app is very easy to use.”
Fyve provides insights about playlist engagement, demographics and listener location, amongst other statistics.
One of its pioneering features is also its ability for users to edit their releases after they have been uploaded to streaming platforms, which is not possible with most distributors. Additionally, there’s an option to send music to radio stations to be considered for play-listing, and Fyve pitches ringtones and playlists, which can offer lucrative revenue streams for artists.
“With Fyve we are saying that you can release today, tomorrow and any other day you want to keep the frequency up. It reports back on how well you are doing and how much money you have made on different (distribution services). It lets you know which platform your music is playing on and the playlists that have your music. We give analytics and we give artists opportunity to withdraw the money they make straight into their bank accounts. We pay every 30 day cycle,” said JR.