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Monday, December 27, 2010


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) ends 2010 on a continuing sound note following news that its royalty distribution shows a healthy growth for the period July 1 2009 to June 30 2010.

What’s more, the Johannesburg-based rights management organisation is also reporting a substantial increase in group gross income – by R31.7 million or 9% - for the same period, alongside a welcome containment of its expenses.

These figures were among those presented to SAMRO’s AGM held on November 26 at SAMRO Place and attended by a substantial number of members – with a small amount drawn from around South Africa including KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. The AGM confirmed the 49th Annual Report which is now available for public viewing on SAMRO’s website ( This year’s report was audited by Ernst & Young Inc.

Says Annette Emdon, Chairman of SAMRO’s Board, “It is especially gratifying to report such strong income and distribution figures during a period that was defined by the global economic crisis. As the Board and management, we are also very pleased to report that SAMRO’s operating costs were kept contained – again not an easy task given the macro circumstances that prevailed during the year under review. But we are gratified that a concerted cost containment programme implemented by SAMRO’s management team over the past year is showing real benefits - and addresses an area of concern for some members.”

Emdon says she was particularly pleased to report that out of the group licence and royalty income increase of R26.8-million (8.8%), the amount that was available for music rights distribution increased by R19.9-million (7.9%). “This means that our member earned increased royalties over the same period the year before.”

SAMRO members number 10,087 in total, spread across individual rights holders and entities like publishing companies. The period under review also saw a significant proportion of SAMRO’s membership participating in this year’s royalty distributions, with a total of 7,012 SAMRO members and 105 Affiliated Societies earning royalties during the year under review (compared to 2009 when 6,637 SAMRO members and 100 Affiliated Societies earned). To earn a royalty in a specified period, SAMRO’s performing and mechanical rights members have to have had works that are active - that is broadcast, performed publicly, transmitted by diffusion or reproduced by music users.

There’s more good news for SAMRO’s members before 2010 ends.

SAMRO’s annual Non-Royalty Revenue distribution will be undertaken on December 10. The amount available for NRR in the period under review is R39,7 million showing a 0.4% increase over the previous period. “While this performance is not directly attributable to management activity, this again shows that SAMRO has been able to either hold its ground or show increases during what has been a particularly trying period for the global economy,” says Emdon.

Emdon underscored SAMRO’s ability to grow in difficult economic times by pointing to the report of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) that the collections of all CISAC member societies globally showed a growth of 2.5%. “Although emanating from a low base, collections in Africa, where SAMRO is a compelling force, grew by 4.9%,” she explains.

In reflecting on the July 1 2009 to June 30 2010 financial year, Emdon also made reference to SAMRO’s ongoing commitment to the highest levels of corporate governance. In particular, SAMRO is committed to complying with the King III Code of Good Governance as well as the new Companies’ Act. To this end the organisation’s constitutive documents will be reviewed and amalgamated into a new Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI)

“Aside from meeting the day-to-day and immediate requirements of our stakeholders and the business, one of the key areas the Board and management have had to pay close attention to in recent years is the sustainability of the organisation,” Emdon says. Pointing to the areas of human resources, technological capacity and physical infrastructure, she said SAMRO had been strengthened in its long-term sustainability by investment in all three areas. “It’s important to note that this drive to sustainability as required by good corporate governance is not done by taking away what is due as income to rights holders.”

For the full SAMRO Annual Report go to