Trace TV VIDEO Selection Criteria: Artiste Popularity, Song Popularity and Video Coolness are Key.


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Emailed by Trace Mziki Team.

TRACE Urban continues to become a part of the East African and Anglophone African music scene since opening an office in Kenya in January 2014. We are proud of our popularity and happy that many artists and musicians, like yourselves, offer your music videos to add to our playlist and air for our viewers, your fans.

We need your videos and you will NEVER be asked to pay to submit your video. There is no one individual at TRACE that can get your video played on the channel by saying so. So DO NOT PAY ANYBODY WHO SAYS THEY CAN ADD YOUR VIDEO. There is a clear and transparent process and a committee makes selections. This statement is to explain the process and selection criteria. Please share this with any and everybody, post it, email it, and if you have comments or questions about it please let us know, so we can answer anything not addressed here.

TRACE is a music video channel; we air music videos for our viewers and sell advertising and sponsorships to brands that want to get their products and services in front of the viewing audience. We are not a record label, music promoter or entertainment news channel.

We do pay royalties for airing your music videos. In Kenya for example, this will be done through MCSK or another collecting society. We have not completed the negotiation and will announce it in the press when we finalize. You must be registered with the collecting societies (as you should be) to collect royalties due to you.

As you may know, TRACE is on all bouquets of DSTV on channel 325. There are separate feeds with different content for Anglophone/Lusaphone and Francophone Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Anglophone Africa includes 17 countries in Africa that are mainly English speaking, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa (please view the map below). TRACE got to where it is through the commitment and hard work of a lot of people. It has also followed a general philosophy of playing what is most popular with the most people… in other words the biggest and best videos from the biggest and best artists across Africa and the world.

Videos are chosen as a result of studying the music charts and trends in clubs etc. to assess the popularity of songs and artists. Videos aren’t put on the channel out of personal interest. The main three criteria are artist popularity, song popularity and how cool the video is.

One of our limitations is the amount of space and time on the Channel. We cannot possibly play every video we receive. At any given time we have about 40-50 videos in rotation at any time, 8-10 of these are African artists. Half of the African artists are usually Nigerians, but there is also Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and many other talented countries in our continent.

The criteria we use to select videos are not strict rules but general guidelines. There are exceptions to the guides, we do add some up and coming/growing artists and sometimes a song may not be known. There are also no hard rules about music videos. For instance it is often said that a good music video should have a story line but there are many videos that clearly defy this.

The programming on TRACE on DSTV is made up of the Playlist and various themed and countdown shows. Playlist is exactly what the name says. It is the general video playlist where videos get played in “rotation”. There are various categories on the playlist. When new videos are immediately added to the playlist they normally start as Brand New or Starter and get medium rotation. As the video’s popularity increases, it climbs the “charts” and may move up to Smash Hit or Premium. After the video has been on air for anywhere from 2-12 weeks and it starts to drop in popularity it will move back down the charts and lower rotations. Depending on a variety of factors, some videos do not get added into rotation immediately and instead get added into a show called New. New also lives up to the name, it is a segment for new videos and plays 5 times per week and like the videos on the playlist, the video can move up in popularity ratings and then put into rotation.

There are categories like Classic and Legend that are self-explanatory. There are a variety of shows such as Africa 10, Urban Hit, and Urban 30. Watch the channel to find out more. It is not our duty nor our mission to promote up and coming artists/songs or videos. We understand it is not easy to achieve but that is where you need to push harder in promoting yourself.

Note: Once a video is submitted IT IS NOT GUARANTEED TO AIR ON TRACE. We receive a lot of great videos and must select accordingly. You will be wise to promote yourself and your music as an artiste as much as possible the more relevance (popularity of song and/or artist) the higher the chances of video acceptance. A committee makes selections. NO ONE PERSON can get your music video played.

DO NOT PAY/TIP or BRIBE…. As we receive huge volumes of submissions, we may be unable to get back to you individual so look out for successful submissions published on our TRACE East Africa social media handles @Traceeastafrica on Twitter and Traceeastafrica on Instagram.

NOTE: We know this explanation is long with a lot of English but we really want artists, managers, video directors and producers, record labels and the industry in general to know how we work.

TO ALL ARTISTS: SUBMISSION OF MUSIC VIDEOS TO TRACE MZIKI: Please attach the YouTube link of your music video to our email, traceea@trace.tv Good luck!!


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