VGMA music business masterclass focuses on music publishing

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This year’s edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) music business masterclass sensitised stakeholders in the music industry about ways to get their works licenced in order to boost revenue.

This year’s event, held at the Alisa Hotel in Accra, brought together songwriters, record labels, artiste managers, and musicians in dialogue with professional music publishers on various issues related to copyright and synchronisation, among others.

The masterclass held in partnership with Sheer Publishing Africa was also attended by representatives of GHAMRO, film directors, production companies, and advertising agencies who graced the occasion.

Speaking at the forum, Madam Keeiloe Molefe, a Copyright Administrator at Sheer Publishing Africa, revealed that Africa has had a double increase in streaming revenue in recent years; therefore, there was a need to educate stakeholders on ways to maximise earnings.

She noted that there were so many young creatives in Africa who lacked understanding about licencing their works and often gave up on their craft.

But she stated that artistes could make the music work for them by using the right channels to publish and distribute their works.

Madam Molefe explained that there was a difference between music publishing and distribution, which is often misunderstood by some industry players.

She urged artistes to join publishing platforms, as it could aid them in collecting their royalties with their songs registered and licenced.

Madam Shiro Mwendwa, Head of Creative and Licencing at Sheer Africa, educated music stakeholders about synchronisation music licencing.

In her address, Madam Mwendwa said the right to music typically belongs to songwriters and publishers.

She mentioned that licencing a song comes with two rights, which are the master rights and the composition rights.

She noted both song writers and musicians could make revenue when their works are used by secondary parties, including excerpts of the song and parts of the song, among others.

Stakeholders at the end of the masterclass expressed satisfaction with the knowledge gained and were grateful to Charterhouse for creating the masterclass platform.

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