Despite the devastating effect that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had on the country’s various economic sectors, with the music and entertainment industry being one of the hardest hit, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) continues to find ways to support its members to help them through these difficult times.
As the nation experienced the looming threat of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, SAMRO – the biggest collection society in Africa – has in the month of February successfully paid out in excess of R70 million in royalties to its local members from the scheduled Radio and General distributions. More millions are expected to be paid out to members in the scheduled TV distribution set to take place in a few weeks. “The latest round of royalty distribution to our members is SAMRO’s way of demonstrating the organisation’s commitment and ability to pay out royalties in a distressed economy, especially during these tremendously difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of our affiliates in the African continent have unfortunately not been in a similar position to us and are struggling to maintain commitments to pay out royalties” says SAMRO CEO, Mark Rosin.
At the time, Rosin noted that the ongoing achievement of consistent payment of royalties was the result of various efficiency measures SAMRO had put in place, adding that it is one of SAMRO’s priorities to put more cash in the pockets of its members.
Aside from this latest round of royalty distributions, the SAMRO Foundation has launched a Music Creation Support Fund to stimulate the ongoing creation of music and to assist SAMRO members in this feat. SAMRO will be awarding micro grants to the value of up to R20 000 per member, to a total of 100 qualifying members. “We have created the Music Creation Support Fund, to stimulate the ongoing creation of music. We have seen the level of despondency amongst musicians over the uncertainty of the pandemic and the threat it poses to their careers and livelihoods. This is our small way to say ‘don’t stop the music’ “ says Mark Rosin.
“Through the SAMRO Foundation, we will pay out micro grants of up to R20 000 to members who’s applications meet the criteria to qualify for the support fund and this will be a once-off payment. Being the biggest CMO in Africa, we also want to ensure that we do not lose the creativity and talent that make up the local music sector,” says Rosin.
“We have more initiatives in the pipeline as part of our ongoing commitment to continuously find ways in which additional benefits can be leveraged to help our members.” concludes Rosin.