Windhoek – Pay-per-view (PPV) had a slower start in Africa than it had in the United States, but COVID-19 means the continent is suddenly racing to catch up.
Mobile telecoms firm MTC deployed PPV to good effect with a concert meant to raise money to reduce homelessness this year.
And individual artistes are catching on and taking advantage of the innovation to make ends meet in an age where live shows are off the books.
Namibian Annual Music Awards Artist of the Year Liz Ehlers told The Southern Times Arts that, “We are far from having dignified rates due to COVID. Bartering has also increased in order to survive in a symbiotic space. It is cutthroat … It has definitely been a steep learning curve to migrate online, but we have monetised very little from online. Thank goodness for innovation.”
Zimbabwean-born Namibian comedian Courage Gondo said virtual performances had certainly eased the burden, though the returns were not as good as those from live shows.
“To a smaller extent, we are getting somewhere but because gatherings are limited, it’s still an issue. It is not like in old times; we now live in an era of a new normal because things will never be the same and it will take a very long time for things to be like old times. It is still a long way to go for the Namibian arts industry to get proper returns as the audiences have been so used to live performances,” he said.
In Zimbabwe, music heavyweights Winky D and Jah Prayzah are staging a PPV concert during the festive holidays. A limited audience will be allowed at a live show venue, and the majority of fans will have to attend the gig virtually.