Safaricom says it has increased the amount Kenyan artists will earn for music sold through the SKIZA music platform by  36% increase in a move aimed at signing up more customers on the platform loved by over 11m users as it pushes to overhaul it into a full-fledged music streaming and download service.

Created by Safaricom sixteen years ago to provide a forum for Kenyan musicians to sell their music, Skiza.com aims to help musicians to reach the company’s 28 million subscribers but only has around 132,000 tunes and reaches just 11 million people, lower than half Safaricom’s subscribers.

“The spirit of SKIZA was to ensure that Kenyan artistes earn from their creativity. We will commit to continue to explore more ways in which we can empower artists to help them make a living from their work,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.

Musicians will now earn 30% on SKIZA earnings, up from the current 22% they earn per song. The amount will be paid through their respective Content Service Providers who will then pay the musicians in accordance with the contracts they have signed and in line with recent legal directives.

In addition to an increase in earnings, artistes on the Skiza platform can now keep track of their income on the platform by dialing *622# or by visiting www.skiza.com. The reporting will be available on a real-time basis and will enable artistes to view their own earnings, a shift from the previous situation which saw only CSPs access the portal.

Artists on the platform will further benefit in the form of free legal assistance from Safaricom. This will be in the form of a number of legal clinics and experts in copyright and entertainment law which will be offered in the various SKIZA forums.

The legal assistance will empower artists when it comes to negotiating their contracts with the various parties, allowing them to do so from a more informed view.