Foreign music dominates Jamaican airwaves

December 14, 2016
Lydia Rose

Foreigners have been collecting the bulk of royalties paid over by local radio stations for playing music.

This is according to Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers Limited (JACAP).

The entity's general manager Lydia Rose said JACAP collected $94.6 million in royalties in 2015. She said that after deducting a $32 million administrative and other costs, a total of $39 million remained for distribution among rights holders.

Of this sum, a mere $7 million was paid to JACAP members while $32 million was paid to overseas societies.

“Radio play is not geared towards our local members,” said Rose at a press conference held the Knutfords Court Hotel in Kingston Wednesday.

JACAP collects license fees from music users and distributes the money as royalties to writers and publishers of music.

“Too much foreign music is played, and hence, we have to remit quite a lot of our distribution to foreign societies. In 2015, 82 per cent of the royalties went overseas, in 2013, 85 per cent went overseas, and in former years such as 2006, 63 percent went overseas,"Rose said.

"We seem to be playing more foreign music as we develop when we should be doing the reverse,” she added.

The system utilised by JACAP to monitor all 31 radio stations also showed that overseas acts dominate the first 20 slots of top 100 most listened artistes and tracks.