So… a little while ago, Gateway Stream announced that it was hosting Wadiwa Wepa Moyo on its platform before episodes go live on YouTube. When we jumped on to see the “exclusive” launch we were a little underwhelmed by the onboarding process and the experience in general.
The issues were much the same as the Jah Prayzah album launch that happened in July this year. I remember when I tried to listen to the album, I was asked to download a separate Gateway Stream Music application and this is the kind of friction that annoyed me and other users.
The launch was also plagued by a few errors. At the time we speculated that Gateway Stream couldn’t handle the wave of listeners who wanted to access the album. Jah Prayzah has a very strong following and whenever he drops something there will be a lot of people looking to get in on it.
All of that aside, Gateway Stream is not a dud. In fact, the streaming service could be a viable way for Zimbabwean content creators to monetise their work without having to jump through international payments hoops like they have to on YouTube.
Very favourable revenue split for paid content
According to Gateway Stream, they have an 80/20 revenue split with creators for paid content. So essentially if you pay for any content on the streaming service the artist/creator gets more than a lion’s share of it (80%).
As far as local content platforms go, Gateway Stream is just edged out by EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe’s Sasai Watch which takes 15% of revenue generated from subscriptions. However, what will separate the two is how much creators will make from ad revenue.
When Sasai Watch launched late last year, there was no word of how ad revenue will be shared. The issue is much the same for Gateway Stream as the team is still working to get advertisers on the platform to then establish how much money creators and the platform will get.
All in all, this is encouraging because local content creators now have more than one option if they want to monetise their work. More importantly, the payouts are far less complicated than for YouTube and other international platforms.
It would be remiss of me not to congratulate Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) which owns Gateway Stream. For a company that large to give this much to creators as well as give the streaming aspect of the platform this much time to find its feet should be commended.
In saying that it’s important to remember that when apps and platforms gain traction, terms of service seem to change along with the ascendancy. It would be a shame if the current revenue sharing figures were changed to disproportionately favour the platform and not the creators. But as with anything of this nature we will have to wait and see…