Once in a while a few stakeholders in our dysfunctional music industry come out with a campaign for our radio stations to play 80% Ghanaian music. It’s usually intense after an occurrence happens that causes awakening of the public to support this course.
A school of thought claims this as impossible, hence the failure of the campaign. But technically looking at it, it’s just a matter of involving the right people, and getting the leaders in government to pass a bill about it, which can eventually completely work, since it’s backed by law. Our competitors in Nigeria and South Africa already have that law in their countries. So why can’t we do it?
I am in support of the course because it’ll give enough space for most of our artistes to be heard, and if it’s maintained well, it may kill mediocrity. But that’s not exactly what I want for the industry.
Such a high percentage of airplay should be proportional to a huge bank account for our artistes, so they can perfect their skill, and give us more quality work. If the core root problem isn’t fixed the whole campaign would turn out to be meaningless, even if it’s accepted. Radio play should be equal to royalties. Royalties are basically money paid to a rightful artiste because of his intellectual property (music), being used to entertain listeners in a radio business. As at now, royalties are been paid by radio stations to Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), who distribute the money to rightful artistes.
As good as it sounds, the artistes aren’t getting what they deserve. GHAMRO doesn’t adequately proportionate rate of airplay to royalty income. This is all because technology has evolved, and GHAMRO is stuck behind. There should be a software installed at all radio stations in the nation, to properly track radio playlists, to enhance them calculate the right amount to distribute to our artistes. Until then, even if 100% GH music airplay right is given, our artistes will go hungry.