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URBAN TRENDS : COSOMA Blank media levy

Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has distributed funds christened “blank media levy” to artists that have done well from July to December 2020.

Atoti Manje tops the list of those that scooped more than K1 million. Kell Kay and Saint are second and third respectively.

How female artists have missed the top 15 list is a story for another day.

On the other hand, how the funds have been calculated remains the dominant question in the COSOMA blank media levy distribution conversation.

COSOMA in partnership with APMC in 2020 introduced an automated music content monitoring system for distribution of royalties according to songs played the most on radio stations.

The system could only monitor 10 radio stations. However, plans are underway to procure more devises to monitor all stations including Television stations.

From 1st July, 2020, the device started monitoring MBC Radio 1 and 2, ZBS, Times, MIJ, YONECO, Capital Radio, CAN Radio, PL Radio and Timveni.

Both systems, monitoring and manual logsheets have been used concurrently until COSOMA is satisfied that the electronic monitoring system can stand independently.

What is APMC? Under the slogan, “Waluso Akolole”, Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative (APMC) is a cooperative of arts associations.

APMC’s main mission is to ensure artists make economic gains from their works.

Among others, APMC runs an online store called goluso where people are able to buy digital music, videos and others online.

How the system operates? The technology used, centrally done at APMC offices, is remotely identifying songs and producing a report which COSOMA uses to distribute royalties.

What musicians have to do? Musicians need to get their songs fingerprinted so that the songs can be identified in the database when played on radio.

What is Fingerprint? Fingerprint is a unique identity number that the system assigns to the songs so that they can be identified when played.

In 2020, the fingerprinting fees were K1,000 per song and K5,000 per 10 track album.

“Nkhaniyi ndi ya straight”, Fingerprint your music!

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Harold Kapindu

Harold Kapindu is an award winning online arts and entertainment journalist based in Lilongwe, Malawi. He has previously worked with Malawi News Agency and Timveni Child and Youth Organization. Contact malawianrapbattle@gmail.com

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