Contrary to complaints by some musicians, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) Rex Omar, has stated that the organization is indeed making progress. He stated some of GHAMRO’s recent achievements such as the highest recorded royalties’ payment to GHAMRO members, a new and up – to – date communication strategy, amongst others as recent milestones. He announced this while addressing an audience at the second edition of the annual National Music Summit in Accra on Tuesday 21st June 2022.
The Board Chairman of GHAMRO Rex Omar, has touted the recent distribution of music royalties by GHAMRO to members as unprecedented and encouraging. “Before the last distribution, the highest money anybody has ever received from GHAMRO or COSGAH was Ghc 3,400 or Ghc 3,200. During our last distribution, for the first time in the history of Collective Management, we were able to distribute monies based on logs . And, for the first time, some people received Ghc 30,000 , Ghc 20,000 and so on; this has never happened in Ghana”, he said.
Rex Omar added that plans were underway to adapt a royalties’ distribution system which would require very little or zero human manipulation, in order to ensure fairness and efficiency in the disbursement of music royalties. “We are looking forward to set a system which will take away human intervention. So that, when the logs come in, whatever money we have been able to collect is fed into the system and the system automatically distributes the money pro – rata and generates the statement”, he explained.
On the issue of poor communication practices by the administration of GHAMRO, Rex Omar said that this would soon be a thing of the past. “GHAMRO has now engaged a professional marketing team that is putting together a marketing and communication strategy, so that we (GHAMRO) will be communicating effectively…”, he said.
The celebrated Highlife musician and Chairman of GHAMRO Rex Omar, later called on members of GHAMRO to remain optimistic, even in the face of challenges, as the future looked promising. “Yes, we have not been supported (financially) by Government. In fact, it is your own monies which we are using to try and make things work; but, it’s gradually working… Hopefully, in the next two months, we are going to distribute and I am sure people will get even higher monies. However, we are still at 40% and have a lot of work to do”, he said.
Rex Omar also stressed on the urgent need for digital music monitoring as the only way to ensuring fair and accurate music royalties’ distribution; since it is only music which is played that can generate royalties . “We have 3116 people (members of GHAMRO) whose music is not active (being used) in the system, and they form the majority of GHAMRO. And, we also have 138 people whose music is active (in the system). Currently, we don’t pay based on the duration (of airplay) … We will get there, but it must come with a legislation”, he said.
At the end of his presentation, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Mark Okraku Mantey, applauded the efforts of Rex Omar and his team and asked members of GHAMRO to support them. “I often hear the performers (musicians) disrespect GHAMRO. Instead of you to stand by the people who are collecting the money for you, you go and fight them through the same person who is using your product and is not paying for it… You have a duty to support GHAMRO to succeed because that’s where your money is. Yes, they have their flaws, so tell them, critique, but remember that it is still your job to support them to succeed”, he said.
By Jerry Wonder Sampson