Private broadcaster, Yarona FM has announced that the radio station has increased local music airplay to 50%.
The urban youth broadcaster said on Friday that they decided to level the playing field by putting a local track for every international song on rotation.
This comes in the wake of a spat between local artists and Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) over royalties. A fortnight ago, some local artists stormed COSBOTS premises demanding payment of their royalties. Artists were complaining that it had been a long time since they last received their royalties from COSBOTS, and when they finally did, it was just peanuts.
COSBOTS, which is mandated to protect artists from exploitation by collecting royalties on behalf of artists from a variety of copyrighted content users, has fingered broadcasters for low airplay of local music. The organisation said, as it stands, most of, if not all radio stations in Botswana are on a 40% local quota recommended, which it said they
In an effort to grow the local music industry, Yarona FM has since taken an initiative to contribute positively to the growth of local music.
The station’s programmes manager, Tshepang ‘DJ Izzy’ Motsitsi told MmegiOnline that the decision came about following complaints from artists.
“Most radio stations gave international content first priority over local content. So local artists complained about this and their complaints were heard,” Motsitsi said.
He stated that this would go a long way in contributing to the growth of local artists as well as exposing them internationally.
Motsitsi also said with the local music airplay now at par with the international music, local artists would get better royalties in the process.
He, however, denied that the decision to increase the local music quota was influenced by the recent incident between artists and COSBOTS over royalties.