Samro announces distribution of R22m in unclaimed royalties to members



Published Jul 18, 2023


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) has announced that it has successfully distributed R22-million in accumulated unclaimed royalties to members who had “outdated or incorrect banking information”.

Samro is a copyright asset management society that administers the performing rights of its members. It currently represents 137 313 members, including active, prospective and heirs.

Samro shared a press release in which it announced that the project to track and trace members who needed to update their banking details commenced in April 2021.

Samro CEO Annabell Lebethe said that the organisation embarked on a large-scale process to contact thousands of members to request that they update their banking details.

“It is worth noting that 1011 members have already engaged with the digital platform and 32% of those members have successfully updated their banking details in the last six months, resulting in a significant improvement in the organisation's ability to pay members with accrued royalties.

“Of the 1011 members, 68% are yet to submit their updated banking details and we urge them to do so to finalise the process,” said Lebethe.

Earlier in the year, Samro announced that it had achieved its biggest royalty distribution in the Radio and General category to date, which totalled R147-million in the 2023 financial year.

The organisation said that they viewed the record distribution as “evidence that its strategy and efforts to license music users and collect licensing fees from them is paying off”.

“This year’s record distribution in the Radio and General category follows a royalty distribution of R121-million in 2022, R123-million in 2021, R141-million in 2020 and R131-million in 2019.

“The distribution identification rate for the radio and general distribution has also been the highest in the organisation’s history in 2023 at 86%, up from last year’s 81.6%, 82.5% in 2021, 85% in 2020 and 84.2% in 2019.”

Back in June, Samro introduced an application fee for new members.

The organisation introduced a once-off application fee for musicians who wish to join the organisation, which will be used to cover the administration costs of processing new membership applications.