Ever since the purchase of music albums dwindled drastically, most musicians have resorted to the production of singles and uploading them on websites for purchase. Nonetheless, Ghana is not ready for on-line marketing of music no!
Most musicians now produce ‘singles’ and employ all forms of publicity stunts to promote them instead of producing albums as they used to do in the 90 and early 00s. The question is; na who cause am? Ghanaians did not wake up to announce on radio or television or decide to stop buying music albums. It is the actions and inactions of the very musicians that caused the people to stop buying albums.
The new era of e-marketing and social networks developed by the west for the purchase and sale of products and services which Ghanaians ignorantly copied, has commoved our music industry. Our musicians now produce songs and willfully upload them unto entertainment websites, infotainment websites and social networks for free download.
I’ve heard some so called experts in our arts and entertainment industry who posit that on-line music marketing or e-marketing is the way to go now. I see them as blind people. The western chaps who created the online or e-marketing system did not just wake up to do try and error as we do here in Ghana. They did a lot of feasibility studies of their settings and knew e-marketing will work before implementing it.
For instance; they considered how many people are internet-literates and use computers. They advocated for e-marketing, they trained and embarked on advocacy works to educate the public on e-marketing, they knew their credit/debit cards, mastercards and Paypal would support e-marketing, their copyright laws are strong and are enforced, amongst other factors.
In our case; how many Ghanaians use computers? How many Ghanaians are internet-literates or use the internet? How many Ghanaians know of music sites where music can be sold or purchased? How many Ghanaians use credit cards or Paypal to purchase music online? Who is vigorously campaigning for the orientation of e-marketing in Ghana? If you download music (audio/video) unto your computer and a strong virus attacks the file, won’t the virus corrupt it? How many Ghanaians have strong anti virus on their computers? Answers to all the above questions are affirmatively in the negative.
It tells us that we are nowhere near online or e-marketing of music. Musicians in the west and other continents have every reason to stop producing albums if they so wish because online or e-marketing which is an alternative source of revenue is effective there! Ghana is yet to get there so why don’t we harness what we have in the meantime for productivity while we gradually reach there; rather than hasting to run when we can’t even crawl?
I am not undermining e-marketing whether for music or any form of art work. My only concern is that we need to tread cautiously because we have not done even 5% of the feasibility works to support online or e-marketing in Ghana. If we start now, we shall fail execrably! Until then….MOTWUM!!
By Osarfo Anthony