By Jeoffrey Mukubi
The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) has partnered with the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO), a mechanical rights licensing agency based in Johannesburg. The partnership will see 17 out of about 7000 NASCAM members receive N$300 000 from online earnings by December 2020. The online platforms include YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and I-Tunes, as well as other streaming platforms.
The payments are a result of some NASCAM members registering their online music and other online content with the organization allowing CAPASSO to pick up their music IP numbers and determining how much an artist is getting paid based on the number of online streams.
“This is the first time that we are partnering with CAPASSO and we had been in talks with them for about three years now,” said Robert Shipanga, a NASCAM board member.
Asked why NASCAM did not pay members out directly from these various online platforms, Shipanga said that their responses were less then welcoming.
“We send them countless emails and these companies blatantly ignored us, so as to face that challenge we decided to work through CAPASSO. One challenge is that we do not have the software or the capacity to trace and record all the Namibian content online,” said Shipanga.
He further noted that another main challenge could be that some NASCAM members unfortunately register through third parties and never receive any monies because the royalty collecting agency would most probably be from another country.
To put it into context, South Africans earn roughly N$52 000 per million plays on Spotify, and N$108 000 per million plays on Apple music, and even less from YouTube.
Although the current value per stream of a Namibian song online is yet to be determined, NASCAM is adamant that this is a step in the right direction.
“ CAPASSO will send to NASCAM a complete schedule statement that will determine how much artists will receive from their music that has been streamed on the online platforms,” said John Max, Chief Executive Officer of NASCAM.
The organization however urges its members to indicate which of their music has been uploaded onto those digital music services in order to enable a smooth processing of identifying their musical works online, resulting in them receiving money for their intellectual property.