Pan African Independent Database

How do independent music entrepreneurs in Africa and independent musicians get paid, particularly in a highly competitive environment with three strong multi-national companies and music collection societies dominating the market share? This is the biggest question in the music and intellectual property industry at large and the single best solution that has been presented by an esteemed industry insider is the idea of a comprehensive and transparent intellectual property database - operating like a property deeds office.

PAID, the Pan African Independent Database was started on National Freedom Day in the US, January 31st 2021 as the beginning of a shift toward equality in the Pan African music industry. For generations Africa has been consuming the outdated product from the US and now it is time for Africa to take a leaf out of the book of the most dominant entertainment industry on the planet and start protecting our own intellectual properyt rights, organising these rights and utilising our own intellectual property rights as a priority.

How will PAID operate and what kind of support will this fledgling idea recieve? The answer to this question lies with the musicians and entrepreneurs and in particular those who will make up the future generations. PAID will utilise its newtork with existing music entrepreneurs, to offer the Pan African music industry members support, insights and advice on best practice to help you one and all on the continent grow our music ventures.

And in return PAID asks you to prioritise development on the continent. Through unity in diversity we will prosper. Take for example the fact that independent labels throughout the world enjoy a 39% market share; in South Africa the independent music community now owns less than 10% of the total market.

This is a huge gap in the market for growth and long term stability in the industry. Let us use this shared inititaive for the Pan African music community to become aware of the opportunities available to music entrepreneurs and how to ensure that all creators are collecting our fair share of intellectual properyt rightsholders royalties.

Then let us band together and receive the requisite support to build this PAID to make sure we get PAID! As Gito Baloi once said, "the musicians must get the bucks." And there is no time like the present.
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For far too long independent music entrepreneurs in Africa have played second fiddle to the one-eyed giants of multi-nationals and music collection societies.

Struan Douglas

Struan Douglas is a writer and musician based in South Africa.