The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has increased its royalty payments on radio to collecting societies from 3% to 4% of its revenues‚ a week after announcing that its 18 stations will play 90% local music.
SABC made this announcement on Thursday night‚ after meeting various collecting societies to establish a forum to discuss issues affecting the broadcaster and the music industry to ensure equity and transparency in royalty matters.
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the move was meant to stimulate the music industry‚ through creating jobs and unearthing new talent.
“The SABC also wants to restore the dignity of creatives to move away from a situation of creatives in the music industry dying as paupers.”
The collecting societies which attended the meeting are the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO)‚ the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA)‚ Independent Music Performance Rights Association (IMPRA) and Association of Independent Record Companies (AIRCO).
The SABC said it was aware that there were artists who did not belong to these societies and said this move was also a bid to encourage them to register with collecting societies so they could equally benefit as the rest of the registered members‚ as their music was also played on SABC radio.
“The SABC will set a budget to honour SA music legends such as Babsy Mlangeni‚ Steve Kekana and Letta Mbuli and those that have passed on amongst others for their contribution to the industry. This once- off recognition payment will be in July‚” Motsoeneng said.
Sean Watson‚ chairman of SAMPRA welcomed the decision taken by the SABC to beat the 3% rate set by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2014 and up it to 4%.
“It speaks volumes about the SABC’s passionate commitment to the South African music industry and we are grateful for this proactive approach”.
Dodo Monamedi‚ chairman of AIRCO and IMPRA expressed happiness about the increase in payments to record companies.
“This means booming sales for our retailers‚ recording studios and live performances.”
Arthur Mafokate‚ representing SAMRO‚ said he was excited and looking forward to artists’ lives changing.