Let me begin with a disclaimer: there’s nothing new under the sun. Every “new” idea that we “think up”, isn’t. Every concept we “come up with”, has already been thought of by someone else.
Now that I’ve got that out the way, WHY THE F*#K DO SOME PEOPLE IN KAMPALA COPY SO BLATANTLY???
This (very serious) problem has been discussed on this site before, but something has been happening recently that I feel I must address.
It is an open secret that everyone in radio listens to everyone else. No one says so in public because that’s just not done, but it’s a common practice and on some level it makes sense. You have to be aware of what the competition is doing, don’t you?
However, it’s one thing to be aware of what the competition is doing and quite another to take what the competition is doing, copy it, give it a new name (sometimes) and then call it your own.
I am in charge of a weekly radio show on Radiocity 97fm called the Saturday Night Mixshow. I’m the host and DJ, but I don’t do the show alone. There are four dedicated people that work in the background and help me with the show every week. Actually if you count the Radiocity PD who also helps from time to time, it’s five people. The show has progressed far beyond our expectations so perhaps some copying was inevitable, but when it is done so blatantly and with such gall, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
The amount of copying this other show (which shall remain unnamed) has done is just shocking! Radiocity started a “roll call” segment on some of its shows including mine, and this show copied. We began bringing on guest DJs and artists, and this show copied. (I’m not too mad about this one because it gives the artists more exposure). We have a segment called the Power Hour during which I mix one artist’s songs back to back for an hour and (surprise, surprise) this show copied.
If you think I am making something out of nothing, here’s why this sort of thing makes me blow my lid:
1.It’s just plain insulting. We work REALLY hard on SNMS. Many of the things we try don’t work. The show only airs once a week so we sometimes spend months fine-tuning a segment before it’s just right. When someone swoops in and copies a segment, they don’t realize how much sweat went into developing it. Very annoying.
2.We are all fighting for the same advertising shillings. My job is to make as compelling a show as possible so my employers (Radiocity) can sell airtime to advertisers. That’s the business of radio. It’s quite dispiriting when your concept is pitched to a potential advertiser only to get a report back that the advertiser has already heard a pitch with similar concepts from your competitor. Ugh…
This copy-and-paste culture is not unique to radio. You see it everywhere. Our telecoms are especially notorious for this, and you find it in music too. To give an example, a certain rapper told me he no longer bounces ideas off other rappers in studio because his lines “mysteriously” end up on other rapper’s songs! Where is the shame?!? ARRRRGH!!!
Ok, rant over. As you were.
(By the way, anyone recognize where the title of this article comes from? No Googling!)