TOP comedian Carl Joshua Ncube said he has developed a system to curb piracy following the weeklong anti-piracy protest that he carried out in Harare’s First Street sometime in 2010.
He went for seven days without food or water, but just his phone, laptop and placards with various messages denouncing piracy.
Ncube said he had come up with strategies to ensure that he was not ripped off by pirates through selling advertising space that has helped him earn additional revenue from potential partners.
Although some little-known artistes have been releasing their work on the market for free as a marketing strategy, Ncube said such a strategy also had its downside.
“If you get into the habit of releasing material to your fans for free all the time in order to get famous then they will never learn to pay for anything when you are now well known. If I sell 64 inch television for $1 of course I will be popular, but popularity is only sustainable if there is money to keep it going,” he said.
He said he discovered that releasing content years after it was recorded was another way that helped him fight piracy.
“Do not release content as you do live shows, have a standard delay time, mine is 18 months, which gives me time to perform out of my content and only release the old stuff when I feel I have new material,” Ncube said.
The comedian said it was important to release shorter clips of performances, but loaded with commercial content to promote shows so that as content circulates at least it results in ticket sales or show attendance.
“It is important to export yourself, performing outside Zimbabwe as much as possible, so that your content is seen by as many people as possible, which increases one’s market base in the event that content leaks and this increases your outside bookings,” Ncube said.
He said doing collaborations is also another way that would help to override piracy.
The rampant piracy in the country’s entertainment industry has affected a number of artists, who are becoming impoverished as they are losing thousands of dollars to vendors, who illegally reproduce and sell artists’ CDs cheaply.