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Q and A with Caziq – Caribbean Music Streaming Service

How did you get started?

Caziq is an online streaming service that is focused on Caribbean content: music and soon video and other artistic Caribbean expression. Caziq will offer to listeners all genres of Caribbean music, including but not limited to, soca calypso, reggae and dancehall, parang, rock, gospel and steelband. Content from the non-English speaking Caribbean will also be featured. We intend to create the world’s largest online archive of Caribbean content.

The parent company of Caziq, Caribbean Riddim Media Archive Limited (CRMA), is a Caribbean based project that was founded by a team from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the U.S.A., with backgrounds in medicine, engineering, business administration, risk analysis, marketing, intellectual property and copyright law, sound engineering and music production.

The genesis of the idea was a love and involvement in music via music festivals and DJ-ing and the accumulation of a large music collection. This music collection spans many decades and genres, but our major interest has always been in the indigenous Caribbean musical artforms. Our team members lamented the poor access to Caribbean music through mainstream media outside of the Caribbean. It was not that one couldn’t find Caribbean music, but it was not always in the versions one would like as a Caribbean native and it was in small quantities. We also discussed the ongoing loss of musical content produced in the Caribbean since there was no preservation of these musical works for future generations. There was no one place that our musical heritage is stored.

The company was officially registered in 2015, in Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S.A.

How did you come up with the name Caziq?

The name Caziq was created out of our research into search engine optimization and branding and the intent to create a unique identity in the online space. We wanted a name that would allow us to register an original name, with a .com URL and also to have social media identity ‘handles’ that all match. We also wanted a name that has a Caribbean basis.

And what does the name mean?

The word ‘Caziq’ is a derivative of the Amerindian word for ‘Chief.’

What technologies are used with this service?

Caziq uses a cloud-based system for content management and delivery through Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Relational Database Service (RDS) and Cloudfront. This allows for quick and easy scalability of capacity as required. The website and mobile applications were developed through collaboration with our development team in Ukraine.

Why use Caziq?

  • A focus of Caribbean music and culture
  • Convenience – Our specialization in Caribbean music makes it easier to find Caribbean artists and songs
  • Access – An ever-growing database of Caribbean music available on all major operating systems and web. Caziq already has the largest catalog of high quality steelband recordings online
  • It’s about the music – a listening experience uncluttered by advertising. In the free ad-supported version our algorithm will place ads in the stream randomly without placing multiple ads in succession. Ads will be limited to a preset total duration per hour.
  • Our music, our way – Playlists curated by the Caribbean DJs, artists and producers.
  • The authentic sound and feel of the Caribbean
  • Familiar Search – search for music using familiar terms and phrases, as well as by genre, year, country of origin, artist or album
  • Song Discovery – discover new music based on your searches and listening preferences
  • ‘Talk Radio’ – A ‘talk radio’ stream for lovers of Caribbean current affairs talk shows
    Mixtape Stream – authentic Caribbean DJ mixes from the Caribbean top DJs in different genres

How do you plan to monetise the service?

Caziq will be supported by advertising in the free option, where users will be able to listen to music with audio ads interspersed between songs. A subscription service will also be available. For US$ 5.99 a month, users can listen to the extensive Caziq catalog ad-free.

Anything else you would like to add?

Intellectual property issues are very serious to us at CRMA. As such at the core of Caziq is a robust intellectual property framework developed by our team and involving collaboration and affiliation with regional and international copyright organizations including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS). This will ensure that all copyright holders receive fair value and compensation for their musical works and recordings. In this way Caziq will make it possible for Caribbean artists and producers to tap into what is now the music industry’s fastest growing revenue source, according to the IFPI Global Music report, 2016.

Where can we go to get more info?

Guardian article
caziq.com
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook : @caziqapp
riddim [at] caziq.com
ascap.com
accscaribbean.com

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