What is SAMRO and How Does SAMRO Licencing Work?

Samro Licencing

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get paid for your music? How does your song playing on the radio translate to money in your pocket? To understand that, you need to know how SAMRO licencing works.

Whenever you hear music playing, a musician should be getting paid; regardless of whether that music is being played at a club, shopping centre, in a restaurant, on television, or on the radio. That is where SAMRO comes in. 

When do you need SAMRO Licence

The simple rule of thumb when it comes to music licencing is that if you are making money, and playing music, then you need a SAMRO licence. So if you throw a house party and bring all your friends over, you don’t need a licence to play music. In this case, playing the music falls under fair use. 

If however you’re throwing a party at a club where they are selling drinks or changing entry, then you’ll need a licence to play music. 

In a nutshell, SAMRO (or the Southern African Music Rights Organisation) charges venues that play any kind of music a licencing fee. This is a fee that all venues are required (by law) to pay. The money received from these licences is then distributed to musicians as royalties.

SAMRO also issues and manages the copywrites of musicians in South Africa

“Members who are composers and songwriters assign the rights of their musical works to SAMRO to administer. SAMRO, in turn, uses the assignments to license individuals and businesses that use music for business or commercial purposes. This includes shopping centres, nightclubs, television and radio broadcasters, and so on.”

SAMRO’s purpose is simple. They aim to add value to creators and users of music. They also protect the intellectual property rights of writers, composers and music publishers by licensing music users.

So, now that we have a better understanding of what SAMRO is, and what they do, let’s take a closer look at how SAMRO licencing works. Check out the video below if you want a better understanding of how SAMRO licencing works.

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