Legal Drama, Music Business

This is War: P-Square in Bitter Show Down with Soundcity TV Over Airing of Music Videos on Channel

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Psquare v Soundcity ShowdownYesterday, Peter Okoye, the other half of P-Square, took to twitter to reveal that Soundcity TV has refused to play their music videos. It turns out Soundcity indeed has stopped airing P-Square’s music videos for nine months (since January 2015) now. Below are the back and forth tweets and responses regarding the airing of P-Square music videos on the Soundcity platform. AML people what are your thoughts on this war? Who is right?

Peter Okoye’s Tweet

Don’t waste ur time dear… They will not play them … Pls keep watching Trace TV, Mtvbase HipTv n Afropop. Thanks https://t.co/6sZu8lJTsg

— Peter Okoye (@PeterPsquare) September 10, 2015

Ignore that channel pls and keep watching us on great channels like Mtvbase,Tracetv,HipTv and Afropop thanks https://t.co/xqwsskHU10 — Peter Okoye (@PeterPsquare) September 10, 2015

Dear fans, we see your complains about the absence of our videos on @SOUNDCITYtv, just to clear the air they refuse to play us.

— Peter Okoye (@PeterPsquare) September 10, 2015

Pls keep watching us on other reliable channel like Mtvbase, HipTv, Tracetv, Afropop and other terrestrial channels. Thanks for the love. — Peter Okoye (@PeterPsquare) September 10, 2015

Sound city Responded to Peter’s Statement:

“For 10 Years, @SoundcityTV has been a huge supporter of #PSquare and the #PSquare brand, right from their 1st music video to the last video released in 2014. Most of their videos got massive airplay on @SoundcityTV than any other music channel.

@SoundcityTV viewers sometimes complain about the dominance of #PSquare videos on the channel & charts. We were a huge supporter and gave everything to their works.

We have assisted the #PSquare brand, toured with them over Africa at our expense. Gave them ad-spots for their events / projects. Gave them prime time slots for their videos and included them in our array of Programmes / programming.

We invited #PSquare to one of our annual events last December 2014 and they insisted we pay a certain amount of money. We reasonably asked, what is the least we can offer?; this was us foregoing the fact that we had invested a lot in #PSquare’s career as music talents / artistes & entertainers.

The feedback was, “WHAT HAS SOUNDCITY EVER DONE FOR PSQUARE? TELL ME ONE THING SOUNDCITY HAS EVER DONE FOR PSQUARE” (Jude Okoye, Manager).

While we understand that this is business, there is also room for special consideration. Saying our TV brand has never done anything for #PSquare was quite damning. Clearly, there was no need to argue with their decision and reasoning. We decided to stop ‘doing anything’ with/for #PSquare, since our 10years of supporting the group meant nothing to them. We assumed our relationship was a mutually beneficial one, but clearly one-sided.

Ultimately, #PSquare music videos stopped airing on @SoundcityTV since January 01, 2015. Soundcity reserves the right to air music videos on our cable / satellite or terrestrial platforms.

Overall, we wish the duo the best in their endeavours. @SoundcityTV will keep airing works of the best and upcoming Nigerian artistes, and also, the best #African artistes to the world, especially nurturing their talents from inception till they become huge megastars and international superstars.

Thank you.”

Jude Okoye the manager and President of Square Records, the label formed by P-Square, steps in and accuses Soundcity of not paying royalties for use of their music videos.

Sound City Responds to Jude Okoye

Dear Jude and @SoundcityTV Fans,

Thank you for your tweets Jude; we will certainly address each of these tweets, especially since they are some sorts of allegation:

  • We don’t pay Royalties? Your job as a manager is to ensure your artistes’ get their royalty pay cheques. Check with COSON and MCSN, SOUNDCITY pays Royalties every calendar year for music use on Soundcity and on sister channels, the platform carriers (DStv) doubles that effort too. Perhaps you should ask your colleagues in the industry about how that works. COSON is the Copyright Society of Nigeria and MCSN is the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, also you can learn more about COSON here http://www.cosonng.com.
  • We suggest rather than you wanting to ‘create’ a union in ‘we artiste’…you should speak and deal with your group squarely. NOBODY ever asked for your group to perform for FREE, only that we asked for a reasonable performance fee. You wanted to charge 10 or 12 Million or so. We are glad that a lot of artistes came through and yes; they played to their fans at the free event, for free.
  • Your job is to co-direct videos, and manage the group and ensure you do things in their best interest ‘reasonably’. Ours is to play the videos if we see them deem fit. Luckily, all your videos are co-directed with Clarence Peters, one of Nigeria’s biggest music video directors, partly a Soundcity Alumni. Please read between the lines of ‘reserving the rights to play.’ to fully understand what it means. Meanwhile, interestingly…our job also partly runs along us advising your group as per better professional input from us, for free.
  • Of course, we did not think we are doing your group a ‘Favour’. Just like any other artistes, if you have a great material, we will showcase it on our channel and various platforms. Supporting, promoting, nurturing a talent isn’t a favour. It is obligatory, indeed?
  • ‘Begging PSquare’ to Tour with? We needed the content? Soundcity is a music and lifestyle channel, music and music programming forms 80% of our content while lifestyle handles the remainder. We are pretty sure the expense of touring with you then was much more than rotating music videos, make a business case out of this and you’ll see for yourself why we wouldn’t have ‘begged’ as you have claimed in your tweets…but hey! We did it for the LOVE!
  • What Blackmail? You decided not to work with our brand, we decided not to work with your brand by withdrawing your videos from our channel and completely stopped doing business with you. Not sure that’s what ‘Blackmail’ means. You took a decision, we took ours too. Simple.
  • Lastly, we will do something rewarding for you today! Please tune in by 3PM to watch #PSQUARE: THEN & NOW! Fans will be able to catch videos from the early years to present and also, #PSQUARE vs. #USHER: ORIGINAL DANCE OFF! By 3:30 PM today. Really, there is no such thing as ‘Boycott’ in premium entertainment.
  • Actually, scratch that! We should but we won’t. We will do #CHRISBROWN vs #USHER: DANCEOFF for 3PM today instead, #ChrisBrown is trending right now on the Internet.This is the last time we are speaking on this, we have a number one TV channel to run. Thank you.

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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2 Comments

  1. Paduce Benson says:

    Seems like Jude is the Meek Mill of this battle. Soundcity makes some very valid, factual points. Jude just sounds bitter.

    Perhaps what we need to be discussing is why P-Square hasn’t released a good song or video since ‘Alingo’. If I was Soundcity, I wouldn’t play their crap videos either.

    1. You sound so much like AML commenter Winston Balagare in tone and style. I think both sides have valid points but I also think both sides are misinformed on how they ought to conduct the business of music with one another. There is a distinction with promotional music videos and the perceived value/monetary compensation P-Square believes it ought to be getting versus say actual licensing of their songs on television to be used in movies, televisions shows etc. (Synch licenses) Also, if in fact Soundcity has been paying its royalties for use of P-Square promotional music videos to COSON, then it sort of renders Jude’s point on royalties moot. Performing for free at Soundcity produced events just because Soundcity airs P-Square videos? I agree with Jude and I ain’t with it either. However, I am in favor of P-Square performing at a discounted fee than it typically would, given the relationship it has with Soundcity. This is industry standard elsewhere. There is an argument to be made that it still hurts the artist. However, the artist and labels should budget for certain operational costs and I would argue this is one of them. Soundcity contends that it has never asked P-square to perform for free. Overall, the two need to sort things out. They sort of need each other so it is in their vested interest to work it out.

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