Our Music Stats Are Free of Human Error – COSBOTS

While the May chart shows int’l music still dominating the airwaves, stakeholders say local music enjoys more airplay


After much scrutiny from stakeholders in the creative industry who questioned the accuracy of the May music statistics published by the Copyright Society of Botswana’s (COSBOTS) Facebook page, the organisation has insisted that its monitoring system is free of human error.
The CEO of COSBOTS, Letlhogonolo Makwinja, says broadcasters are also tracked by the monitoring service that the organisation has engaged. “It is a 24/7 monitoring system that is free of human error and produces results for sharing, as has been shared,” he said.

While a look at the music chart shows that local radio and television stations are still dominated by international music airplay, key industry players are questioning it’s accuracy because local music seems to be enjoying more airplay with the introduction of more music platforms.
But Makwinja insists: “The monitoring process is executed through a sophisticated and technologically advanced system. This system is designed to continually track and assess the music played by all broadcasters within our purview in real-time.
“It employs cutting-edge software and hardware components that are specifically tailored to analyse and evaluate the content being broadcast. The monitoring system meticulously captures and analyses the audio content, identifying instances of music being played.

Detect and classify
“Through advanced algorithms and pattern recognition techniques, the system is able to detect and classify different musical compositions accurately from local and international databases.”
However, he concedes that it is difficult for COSBOTS to say why airplay is dominated by international music because the organisation does not determine what is aired but provided information on the official disposition and factors that contribute to prevalence of international content.
“Radio stations and broadcasters often aim to cater for the tastes and demands of their target audience, which can sometimes result in a greater emphasis on international music,” he says.

France 24
He believes their collaboration with industry stakeholders, including broadcasters, to encourage more local content in programming can help diversify airplay and provide a platform for the local music scene to thrive and accordingly improve the stats.
“A few examples could be substituting international programmes such as France 24 International News with music videos throughout the night for an interesting approach that can provide valuable exposure to local artists and support local creativity,” Makwinja suggested.
DStv Botswana is another platform that features local music with the introduction of “Bots Top 5.” Asked why the DStv medium was not featured in the COSBOTS chart, Makwinja says licensing for satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission is based on the “country of origin” principle where the country from which the broadcast originates determines the licensing of copyrighted works.

“In the case of MultiChoice, Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have jurisdiction to license them,” he notes.
“Through representation agreements between CMOs, artists from other countries like Botswana can receive compensation for their works when broadcast by Multichoice.
“This means that the CMOs in the respective countries act as representatives of the artists and manage their rights, ensuring they receive appropriate royalties and payments.”