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Demilade Olaosun
Demilade Olaosun, entertainment lawyer
It is just a few weeks to the release of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) world music market ranking and statistics, which had only South Africa in 2012. Ghana Association of Phonographic Industries (GAPI) has revealed making over $10,000 every year from 2007 till now, 2013, after it sealed a working relationship with Norwegian-based international digital music distributor, Phonofile. Whether this will put Ghana among the top 20 music market in the world is unknown but according to reports from Ghana, between 2007 and 2013, Phonofile has loaded over 5,000 Ghanian songs on its online portal, generating over $10,000 every year for musicians and copyright owners in Ghana. Speaking with Ghana’s Adom News, GAPI’s Coordinator, Francis Mensah Twum said despite the poor efforts in promoting music online in Ghana, the revenue is improving; “We do not make any effort to promote our music online,” Twum said. He further highlighted that training by Phonofile is focused on selected musicians/right owners as a pilot as there are plans to revamp some old popular tunes. With the figures released by Ghana’s Phonographic body, GAPI, entertainment lawyer, Demilade Olaosun, who spoke with our correspondent has called for the need to have a well structured online profitable music market in Nigeria if we must make the world music market as it is important to keep records of albums and singles sales. “To my mind however, I believe we need to do this first for ourselves, for accountability and for adequate reward of intellectual property activities by practitioners. Definitely, we should aspire to compete on an international platform but the major consideration must be the protection and rewarding of our musical activities.” “This is why I am not particularly keen about Nigeria’s rating in the IFIP 2013 figures but about how much effort we strategically put into building a profitable structure for our industry. All online platforms must be explored for profitable distribution of music and I am aware of certain efforts by some industry professionals to effect such. So much of this was discussed at the recently concluded Social Media Week and blueprints are being mapped out to encourage online monetization of musical works,” the lawyer stated further. Demilade is, however, optimistic about having a Phonographic association in Nigeria. “I am sure that very soon, we will have a Phonographic society either entirely operated locally or in partnership with a foreign company”. Will Nigeria or Ghana join South Africa in IFPI’s Top 20 World Music Market report for 2013? Only time will tell.  

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This article was first published on 13th March 2014

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