Have you ever bought a CD after hearing a single song on the radio and then discovered that the song you heard first is not the best on the entire album?
That’s the power of radio and the record label. After an artist is done recording, a group of music experts deliberate on which song should be the first single out and the rest come out on the CD.
Many times they never get it right.
The other irritating thing about the current state of music is that when you finally get the CD, sometimes you realise that the one song that was publicised is the best and you wish you had bought the single track. iTunes has solved that problem but not everyone can access iTunes, and not everyone wants to own music.
We have been listening to radio since its invention and while we may like the songs it plays, we have no control over what we listen to.
The only way to control what we listen to is to buy music – but sometimes we don’t want to.
I like MC Hammer’s songs for nostalgic reasons, but I don’t want to hear them every day, although I need to hear them whenever I wish to. While that sounds like a spoilt kid’s attitude, we are in an era where those seemingly ridiculous demands can be met.
Enter Simfy Africa, a digital company that prides itself on making songs available online for your listening pleasure.
Of course, there is nothing new about websites that have music, but Simfy Africa has taken the state of music selling and/or sharing to another level.
The company has more than 19 million songs – and counting – in its database.
For a fee of R60 a month, you may access whatever songs you wish on the database and get to keep them on your playlist for as long as you wish.
“Since we have just set up this innovative way of offering music locally, we give our customers a 14-day trial period,” said Simfy Africa chief executive Davin Mole.
“We have taken time developing this service for South African consumers so that music-lovers have the freedom to listen to what they want to when they want. Essentially we are democratising how we listen to music.”
That SA is still an emerging market in terms of the internet did not stop Mole and company from developing this platform here.
“We have done research and discovered that about five million households use the internet and the numbers are growing significantly. We decided to start when the numbers were still low and to grow as a company, because if we waited too long someone else would have caught on to the idea and we’d play second fiddle.”
So how does Simfy Africa work?
You have to have a computer, cellphone or tablet that has internet access. When you log on to www.simfyafrica.co.za you will be asked to register an account.
Once that’s done you get the 14-day window period that allows you to search, play and save any song that you like and find on the website.
Because the website has your details you can create a playlist that you can virtually save and access whenever you wish. Also, the site allows you to listen to the songs you have saved, when you are offline.
“We allow our listeners to have a say in what they want to listen to and so record companies do not dictate what should be the next hit song,” Mole said.
“We are inviting South African musicians to get in touch with us so that we can have their music on this platform and they can get some agreed remuneration out of it.”
Simfy Africa may be accessed by iPhones and iPads and Android cellphones.