Namibia: Royalty Payments Will Be Record Low in 2021

23 October 2020

The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) revealed that it is not immune to the economic challenges they are currently facing due to the pandemic. Usually, artists would receive two payments in a year once royalties are paid out by institutions that use the music (from TV stations, radio stations and venues to streaming platforms and musical concerts).

This year, the going gets tough for the music industry as Nascam CEO Eino-John Max told Entertainment Now! that most of the places that use music as a form of entertainment or leisure in their venues have been closed for the last eight months now. "There has been no business at all and this has a huge impact on the entire Nascam operations. This will affect artists not to receive adequate royalties for 2020 to 2021."

Max said that the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has been the only company that has contributed the most towards royalty payments for many years since the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act was operational. "Therefore, this year's royalties payments will be based on last year financial collection or statements of the NBC, this means Nascam will be paying the royalty fees that were collected based on last year financial audit of NBC, while next year's payment will be based on the 2020 financial statement and this will be a serious and most underpay royalty as there were no businesses open this year, this will have a real effect on all artists come 2021," he explained.

As for private businesses and radio stations, Max said they have not been forthcoming in meeting them halfway and hopes this will change as profits are understandably low for everybody.

The institution itself is also in the red financially as they are trying to keep the organisation in operation. "We have tried all that we can to get assistance from all high institutions that relate to our activities but none of them is able to assist us so far. We have requested private companies to assist our artists financially and food packages and we are still waiting for their response. We have a number of elderly artists that are worse off as their income depended on live performances but due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are not able to be booked or perform anywhere. Now they always call us to assist where we can even with food to eat. This has been like this since March this year," stressed Max.

Max further pleaded to all institutions that are able to assist to come forward and for those, who have already contacted them to assist or avail any assistance they can to help Nascam's needs and affected artists.

He told this reporter that they will be able to distribute the royalties of music used on NBC's radio services and TV. "NBC has already settled all royalty payments that are due to Nascam and it will further forward payments to our artists. We will soon make an official announcement on what has been done during this difficult year of Covid-19," he ended.

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