The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) on Tuesday announced that it has successfully disbursed more than R13 million in royalties.
SAMRO said the royalties had remained unallocated due to some members’ banking details not being updated.
“The royalties were distributed between the inception of the SAMRO project to reach out to members to update their banking details in April 2021,” said SAMRO.
The programme saw SAMRO embark on a momentous task of contacting thousands of members through TransUnion and via direct communication to request that they update their banking details.
A list of affected members was also published on the organisation’s website.
The initiative is ongoing and SAMRO continues to appeal to members to ensure that their information is up to date so that royalties can be efficiently transferred.
“Some SAMRO members did not update their banking details with the organisation. This resulted in a build-up of funds as these members could not be paid,” said SAMRO Chief Operations Officer Mpho Mofikoe.
Mofikoe said the organisation deployed a system to individually contact members who have royalties due to them so that their banking details could be updated, and payments made.
This programme thus far resulted in R13.5 million being paid out to members.
Supporting music creators
SAMRO administers performing rights on behalf of its members – primarily music composers, authors, and publishers.
Mofikoe explains that when a SAMRO member’s royalty earnings reach a minimum threshold amount significant enough to be paid out to the member, a purchase order is created to pay the member as part of the next appropriate distribution, whether they received royalties for radio, television, online or live use.
“So, while SAMRO had received the money, and we would attempt to pay the member, if the member’s account details were incorrect the payment would bounce, and any future payments to the members would be halted until the member’s information was corrected,” she said.
Efforts paying off
“I think we can be proud of our efforts that have to date resulted in the distribution of millions of rands in royalties to deserving members, who must be compensated for the use of their work. As always, SAMRO will leave no stone unturned to ensure that our members receive their rightful earnings,” said Mofikoe.
She said the organisation is constantly seeking ways to support and protect the well-being of its members, especially following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the music industry.
“SAMRO always strives to protect the rights of its members and ensure that they receive the royalties that are rightfully due to them,” said Mofikoe.
In addition, SAMRO is currently working on upgrades to their systems to make it easier for members to check if there are any unclaimed royalties due to them.
Mofikoe urged members to constantly update their details by either logging into the SAMRO portal using their credentials or by getting in touch with SAMRO directly.