SAMRO celebrates their Diamond Jubilee: 60 years and beyond
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After six decades in existence, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) is more determined than ever to serve its members better, in an evolving world.
Born out of the belly of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in December 1961 with only 40 South African composers and 13 music publishers, SAMRO has been the nation’s music rights champion these past 60 years.
“The journey of SAMRO is an interesting one that at times should be told not just in words but in songs,” said SAMRO chairperson, Nicholas Maweni, as he narrated SAMRO’s history.
SAMRO protects the rights of composers, authors or music creators and publishers both locally and internationally. The organisation collects license fees from music users, television broadcasters, radio stations, in-store radio stations, pubs, clubs, retailers, restaurants, and all other business that broadcast, use or play music. These fees are then paid out to members by way of royalties.
In the past 60 years SAMRO has grown to represent over 126 000 members locally and more than 4 million composers and publishers internationally. The organisation has paid its members more than R7 billion in royalties these past six decades and are excited about what is to come. If nothing else, this figure should demonstrate that SAMRO has consistently created value for members over the 60 years. The SAMRO board has set an audacious target that of seeing the organisation reaching a R1bn revenue by 2025.
On 10 December 2021, “For the first time in the history of SAMRO will be hosting the Annual General Meeting (AGM) outside Johannesburg, taking it to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and others are welcome to join us virtually via our social media platforms. We are taking SAMRO to the people. The pandemic has really caused us all to reflect and leap-frog into technology and therefore allowing us to be a bit more inclusive,” said excited Maweni.
SAMRO is implementing the approved strategy which is to optimise the business model & diversify as we innovate. In the year under review, the focus area was on optimisation (increase revenue, improve systems and processing, improve reputation, cost management and consolidate the music industry).
SAMRO introduced a technology system aimed to enhance the ability to improve the way in which they pay royalties on behalf of members. The solution enables monitoring of airplay across platforms such as the internet, television and radio. It will certainly improve the accuracy, efficiency and speed with which SAMRO is able to collect and pay over royalties to its registered members.
“The six-decade milestone has only served to reinvigorate us for our vision and mission. We have always sought to be the leading and most admired music collection organisation in South Africa, respected by the global community and the world. We efficiently administer music rights on behalf of our members and will continue to do so into the future,” he said.
“In 40 years, this organisation will reach its centenary. All efforts made from the beginning, and currently, for the betterment of the business and its biggest stakeholder, our members, are never in vain. What we do today, especially amidst the global crisis, will bare worthwhile fruit for future members and administrators. So, it matters, that we continue on this path, putting our members at the center of all we do.
“For an organisation to reach 60 years of existence is no small feat. We are grateful to all those who kept SAMRO alive decade after decade, here’s to six more!”