THE music industry in this country is in turmoil, disarray and suffering.
This emerged on the first day of the three-day Southern African Music Conference at Durban's Bat Centre.
Upcoming music producers and established producers are expected to deliberate on issues affecting the industry and how to deal with problems such as pirating and copying of songs.
Tsepo Motaung of Sheer Music said technology and the use of computers had nearly brought the music industry to its knees.
"Music suffers as recording companies battle to sell huge amounts of records because of technology. The Internet has taken centre stage and is crippling the industry. It is very easy these days for one person to buy a CD, and you find 10 more people have it," he said.
His sentiment was shared by Oscar "Oskido" Mdlongwa of Kalawajazmee, who complained about piracy, saying it has harmed the industry. He said a lot had changed in the music industry, compared to when they started.
"Looking back from when we started, one can say that a lot has changed. But unfortunately these changes are not the kind of changes one can boast about. Independent record labels are mushrooming and the mergers are taking place like there's no tomorrow.
"If you look at the sales people marketing the music are making more money than artists. But cellphone companies have also moved in, resulting in records sales decreasing. Piracy cannot be stopped, it's like HIV. It is something that we have to live with," Mdlongwa said.
He said the changes in the industry were so bad that a biggest selling record could hardly go beyond 50000 copies.