Silver X: Low internet consumption costs South Sudanese musicians YouTube earnings

Silver X: Low internet consumption costs South Sudanese musicians YouTube earnings

South Sudanese artists say lack of proper infrastructural development has derailed efforts to catch up with the digital economy.

For Jeremiah Malish Okuta, who is known by stage name Silver X, earning through YoutTube has never been easy despite having a combined 90k number of views in the account.

He says the digitalised his music and that his management does upload most of his videos on his YouTube channel but he has never earned from it.

“At the moment nobody has earned through YouTube in South Sudan, unless if someone has accounts that is connected to a credit card,” he said

He added that, “the internet in the country is very poor and expensive as well unlike other countries such Uganda, Kenya and other well-developed countries.”

The self-styled ‘Ustaz ta Dunia’ said when he was in Uganda he was able to launch his album, “Touch the World” online in Kampala and it was successful.

Before the pandemic, most musicians made money through live concerts. But things took a bad when the covid-19 pandemic hit.  

One of the music producers known as Edgar, who has been in the industry for 18 years says that since 2010 music has changed.

“So, now music is changing and sounding really good but still artists are not making money out of music just like any other industry that has to go through some channels of growth,” he said.

Edgar also lamented lack of support from national audience saying South Sudanese can pay USD 100 to see a foreign musician perform. But they cannot pay the same amount to watch a South Sudanese no matter the quality of the music. He said some artists have resorted to other alternative sources of income.

“At the moment artists are really not making money, some of them are getting money from their relatives and other small jobs that they do.”

He also added that the other reason as to why the musicians are not making money was because they don’t brand themselves.

“The musicians have not branded themselves and they haven’t released themselves as brands, because they have been paying money to produce their songs but now most of them have been posting their songs on Facebook and giving people their songs via WhatsApp for free yet they used money to make their music,” he said.