I’ve been doing some keyword research for a recording studio website and I’m sorry to say that it seems like there isn’t much going on in the SA music industry. Not many searches for producers, mastering engineers or other music industry players. Why? Didn’t the SABC institute a 90% local content policy about a year ago? Shouldn’t that have put more music makers to work and revitalized the industry by now? I looked it up and this is what I found.
Yes, the SABC interim board plans to reverse the 90% rule because it’s putting SABC radio stations under financial pressure. In other words, the rule hasn’t stimulated the growth of the SA music industry because South Africans don’t want to hear South African music. We don’t listen, so it isn’t profitable and radio stations can’t afford to play it.
The 90% rule was supposed to increase demand for local music. Are people listening to non-local styles? Are local musicians not looking to their roots for inspiration and innovation? Perhaps more needs to be done to inspire and empower young musicians who will then develop new local styles before imposing a 90% local content rule.
The SABC should focus on profits because, if the SABC goes out of business, there will no longer be a national platform for local music. Rather survive and use a portion of their profits to put instruments in childrens’ hands and music teachers in their schools. Learning an instrument and playing traditional styles in groups from a young age would go a long way towards developing unique local music that could be exported to the world. Yes, it would take time, but it would benefit the economy in more ways than one. It would put more studios, clubs and musicians to work and it would help the next generation develop their minds and their self-confidence which can only be good for the future of this beautiful country.
What does all of this have to do with digital marketing? Well, I identified a problem through keyword research and have proposed a solution. The same research can also reveal opportunities. For example, the graph above indicates that SA musicians should look at producing hip hop, and that the recording studio in question should have a webpage dedicated to South African Hip Hop. Because, until local musicians find a new, uniquely South African sound, they, and other music industry players, have to make a living producing something else. In other words, you can thrive in hard times by capitalizing on trends and Google’s made it easier than ever to identify them. Good news.