SA musicians cash in on R33m Samro digital royalty distribution

SAMRO has paid out over R33m in digital royalties to its members.

SAMRO has paid out over R33m in digital royalties to its members.

Published Apr 2, 2024


South African musicians, authors, composers and publishers are smiling all the way to the bank after the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) announced that they have paid out over R33 million in digital royalties in their first quarter.

According to a statement, the landmark distribution is a commitment to ensuring that its members are properly compensated for the use of their musical works by digital platforms.

These include Digital Service Providers (DSPs), Video on Demand (VoD) as well as User Generated Content (UGC) such as Apple, Spotify, Netflix and TikTok.

The music body added that another distribution is scheduled for June.

In 2021, Samro inducted the collection of royalties from digital platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Netflix in response to the evolving technological landscape.

The statement explained that the move marked a fundamental step towards adapting Samro's licensing and royalty payment practices to the changing dynamics of the global digital landscape.

“Samro’s diligent research and documentation of compositions have significantly improved identification rates, which now averages 98%.

“This improvement has resulted in a successful royalty payment to members whose music was featured on these digital platforms.”

The administers said that its aim is to maximise earnings for its members.

The body acknowledged its past challenges and insisted that they are determined to improve their services.

“We implemented operational tactics that leverage data from DSPs, VoDs and tools such as auto-copyright tools and CISNET.

“These methods have significantly improved the accuracy and speed of royalty distribution, reducing the need for manual involvement and speeding up the paperwork process,” said Samro.

The organisation added that this landmark distribution is not just an achievement but a “promise for the future”.

“It sets a new benchmark for upcoming efforts in royalty distribution, ensuring a future where musicians receive fair compensation for their creative work.”