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SAMRO goes hi-tech to fix royalty mess

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation has turned to technology to address the inefficiencies of music royalties collection and distribution

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The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) has implemented a cutting-edge technology solution that will enhance its ability to distribute royalties on behalf of its members. 

The system used until now, which has relied on playlists from broadcasters, has been woefully inefficient, resulting in a mess in both collection and distribution of royalties.

SAMRO, which administers the copyright and royalties of its members – primarily music composers, authors and publishers – have engaged local companies Media Host and Radio Monitor to provide monitoring of airplay across platforms like television and radio.

The move is aimed at improving the accuracy, efficiency and speed with which SAMRO is able to process and pay over royalties to its registered members. This is according to SAMRO Membership GM Karabo Senna, who says that, in the past, the organisation relied solely on playlists from broadcasters to monitor airplay and distribute royalties.

“However, using playlists presented several challenges for us, including that these lists were not standardised, at times not accurate and often took a long time to get hold of,” says Senna. “This was often a manual and tedious process and presented the organisation with many challenges.”

This prompted SAMRO to hire Media Host and Radio Monitor, providers of monitoring technology solutions that ensure higher efficiency and transparency and, consequently, profitability across a variety of media platforms. The two companies have many years of experience in the market and recently concluded a pilot project and proof of concept for SAMRO, successfully meeting the organisation’s criteria and expectations. 

“The system will be implemented starting in July 2021 as part of the significant changes at SAMRO, focusing on transparency and improving operational delivery and efficiency, making sure that the organisation is member-centric by improving systems and processes,” says Senna.

Mike Smith, managing director of Media Host, says the company is in the process of bulking up its infrastructure to ensure that its systems are able to cover airplay in all corners of South Africa. 

“We are very excited to partner with SAMRO to help boost its ability to better serve its members through the more accurate and efficient distribution of royalties,” he says. “We are beefing up our systems and infrastructure so that we can effectively monitor and capture all relevant airplay across various media in the whole country.”

Senna says that the new airplay monitoring solution will be used in conjunction with playlists to ensure maximum accuracy and speed with which SAMRO is able to collect and pay royalties to its members.

“This is just another step in ensuring that composers, authors and publishers get the most benefit out of their SAMRO membership. We are continuously looking for ways in which to better serve our members and these partnerships are a great step towards unlocking even greater financial notes for their music notes.

“Music composers, authors and publishers can rest assured that SAMRO is a proactive and innovative organisation that is always looking for new ways to protect their members’ interests and ensure that they are compensated accurately for their work.

“SAMRO will continue to review the media monitoring landscape and any new developments that can supplement existing capacity to deliver a better offering to our members will be seriously considered.”

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