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Music publishers lament revenue loss in Nigeria

Mike Odiong of Premiere Music (left), Ibukun Abidoye of Chocolate City, Isioma Idigbe of Universal Music, Olumide Mustapha, Chairman, MPAN and entertainment lawyer Justin Ige at the meeting in Lagos


Music Publishers Association of Nigeria (MPAN), an umbrella body for music publishing companies in Nigeria, has raised alarm over what it described as consist loss of billions of Naira in country’s music publishing sector. Rising from its first town hall meeting in Lagos, the association noted that Collective Management Organisations have a lot of work to do in order to get artistes to benefit from music publishing.

The meeting had major industry players such as Olisa Adibua of Megalectrics ltd, Efe Omorogbe of Now Muzik, Sam Ukwa, a renowned music composer and producer, Peruzzi, entertainment lawyers and guests from the French Embassy and American business group.

In its opening remark, the Chairman of the association, Olumide Mustapha, reiterated the fact that music publishing is key to revenue growth of the music industry. He lamented that ignorance amongst artistes and people that are supposed to help build the industry is a major challenge, hence the town hall meeting.

The first presentation was by Isioma Idigbe, an entertainment lawyer, who represents Universal Music Group. She alluded to the fact that there is a problem in the music-publishing sector in Nigeria because the players and regulators are not living up to their expectations.

She posited that there is the need to create more awareness among the artistes, music users and content providers.
Olumide Mustapha of Greenlight Publishing Company, who highlighted the figures being lost as revenue in his presentation, noted that, though revenue of about 8 billion Euros was realised from streaming worldwide in 2018, less than 5 per cent of that figure came from Nigeria.

“Yes, our CMO being the Copyright Society of Nigeria is doing very well based on their figures, they have been able to increase revenue to about 100% between 2017 to 2018, from about N200million to about N400million, a bulk of it coming from digital sales that raised by 900% in just one year. But the problem is, increase in revenue does not reflect the increase in distribution. Instead of having an increase in distribution, there was a 15% decrease. We need to get the regulators to wade in and help sanitize and put a proper structure to help increase revenue of artistes from the publishing sector,” said Olumide.

Ibukun Abidoye of Chocolate City was of the opinion that the solution to the music publishing revenue crisis lies in the hands of the regulators and the artistes, music composers, writers and producers saying they will have to come out and take a stand by signing petitions that will challenge the Nigerian Copyright Commission to act on the COSON debacle.

On his part, Olisa Adibua believes the association should take more practical steps in engaging the government of the day since the NCC stance on dealing with the present COSON predicament is more political.

Michael Odiong of Premier Music Publishing Company Limited responded to Mr. Adibua’s allusion by saying the association is looking into all options open to help soar revenues and end the present internal conflict in COSON. He said the association would engage the 9th national assembly members and educate them on the need to create a better enabling environment for music publishing to thrive.

Mr. Justin Ige stated that constant engagement with the judiciary on issues of music publishing cases would help build a strong institution where things can be right.

In this article:
MPANOlumide Mustapha
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