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South African Music Rights Organisation


  • The Beat Bulletin
  • January 2013

Dear SAMRO Music Creators

As the new year dawns, we start the countdown to the launch of the new SAMRO web portal. You can read more about this revolutionary new portal in this month’s newsletter - and be sure to check your email or visit www.samro.org.za for more information, tips and tutorials.

This month we take a closer look at narrowcasting and the opportunities this form of music usage offers music creators. We profile musical pastor Mark Scholtz in our member feature, and turn the spotlight on Freshlyground, who are breaking new ground in a new partnership with Pick n Pay.

If you have been performing internationally and were not aware of the Performing Rights royalties that might be due to you, please read the International Affairs article for some important information - and don’t forget to keep track of your royalties when you give live performances on home turf too. Plus, get the inside edge on the industry’s latest trends at Music Exchange 2013.

A big congratulations goes out to Hugh Masekela who has been nominated for a Grammy, as well as Hannes Coetzee, who has a composition featured on a Grammy-nominated album. We also salute Bra Hugh, Lira and Mi Casa, who were chosen to perform at United States President Obama’s inauguration in January.

Would you like to be profiled in a future newsletter? Please contact us at online@samro.org.za - we look forward to your story ideas, comments and profiles for possible inclusion in The Beat Bulletin.


Yours in music

Kgomotso Mosenogi
Marketing and Communications Manager: SAMRO

In this issue
Narrowcasting - widening the royalty net for SAMRO members
Member profile: Freshlyground and Pick n Pay in innovative partnership
Member profile: Musical minister spreads his wings
Plugging into the power of SAMRO's new web portal
Cash in on your international performances
Get to grips with the business of music at Music Exchange
Hugh Masekela and Hannes Coetzee up for Grammy glory
Help SAMRO to ensure you get your performance royalties

Narrowcasting - widening the royalty net for SAMRO members

Through narrowcasting, music has the power to turn a chore like a visit to the post office or buying groceries into a pleasant experience. It’s also an important potential revenue stream for SAMRO’s music creators.

This form of broadcasting is defined as the transmission of content, often including music, to a certain targeted section of the public - such as the music you hear in the supermarket or at the mall.

Usually transmitted via satellite or the internet to a restricted audience, such in-store or in-house radio stations do not require an ICASA licence. But users do need to obtain a licence from SAMRO, authorising them to use SAMRO members’ music, explains Keitumetse Setshedi, SAMRO’s Broadcasting and Online Transmissions Manager.

"A narrowcaster can be used for any venue, even hospitals, schools, taxi ranks or airports, as the concept is just about relaying a signal to a specific target audience," she adds. "However, it is worth noting that, for instance, an airport or taxi rank can ‘broadcast’ some content through its PA system, not as a narrowcaster but merely playing pre-recorded content aired from its offices."

Narrowcasting is yet another avenue for SAMRO members to reap the rewards for their creative output whenever their music is used publicly.

"This is becoming a popular form of marketing by retailers. They use customer demographics to select the type of music played in specific areas at specific times of the day," explains Xolani Zulu, the Accounts Executive for Mechanical Rights at SAMRO.

According to Zulu, the arrival of digital music and online streaming has created new challenges, with many more players entering the industry. New technology has made commercial music more "freely" available and is posing additional licence compliance challenges - while also opening up opportunities - for SAMRO.

"Narrowcasters know that they need to be licensed, but unfortunately a number of our clients assume that all narrowcasters are compliant, which is not always the case. However, the SAMRO sales department is actively addressing this challenge," says Zulu.

To keep abreast of the huge volume of licensed music used in this way, SAMRO collects playlists and cue sheets from all licensees. This allows the organisation to track music usage and perform statistical analyses to determine the appropriate licence fees, which will ultimately be passed on to the music creators as royalty income.

"Digital media is much more accurate when it comes to reporting, so this is going to be an advantage going forward. We collect market intelligence and receive information from members whose music is played by some of the narrowcasters. In some cases we conduct cold-calling exercises to investigate the use of rights-protected music," Zulu adds.

Members can rest assured that SAMRO is working hard to protect their music rights and is continuing to pursue ways to ensure compliance in this growing industry.

Member profile: Freshlyground and Pick n Pay in innovative partnership

Supermarket chain Pick n Pay is empowering musicians and composers by acting as a distributor for South African music outfits such as Freshlyground, who have just released their fifth studio album, Take Me to the Dance, independently.

More than a decade after they burst on to the local music scene with their debut album, Jika Jika (featuring the anthemic track Nomvula), these SAMRO members continue to be trendsetters and pioneers in taking ownership of their music and making it accessible to as wide an audience as possible at the best possible price.

Having decided not to renew their record contract, the popular seven-piece Afro-fusion band has struck out on its own. They funded the recording of their album themselves and are now marketing and distributing it through Pick n Pay outlets nationwide.

"Using Pick n Pay to distribute our music gives us the freedom to negotiate directly with those who want to publicise or use our music in any form they wish," says Freshlyground member Kyla-Rose Smith.

This initiative means that Freshlyground, also known for hits such as Doo Bee Doo and The Fire is Low, are buying into a growing global movement among music professionals to chart their own creative and professional paths, leading to tailor-made agreements with businesses. Such mutually beneficial partnerships often include exploring complementary branding and marketing synergies.

For Pick n Pay’s General Manager: Marketing, Malcolm Mycroft, this is a deal that will work to the advantage of both parties involved.

"Musicians who choose to distribute their music through Pick n Pay benefit from our far-reaching access to consumers, as we have over 750 stores around the country," he says.

"But besides our footfall, suppliers - musicians and otherwise - benefit from marketing and advertising activities, such as run-of-press ads, in-store plasma TV promotions, special promotions, appearing on our sponsored TV properties and the like," he explains.

By choosing to embrace an innovative approach to the business of music, Freshlyground are setting an example that will hopefully be followed by other Southern African musicians.

Visit www.freshlyground.co.za for more details.

Member profile: Musical minister spreads his wings

A South African songwriter and pastor has realised a lifelong dream to gain international recognition and spread his message and his music beyond borders, after signing with a new US-based label, Worthwhile Worship.

Mark Scholtz is a passionate musician and songwriter who is using his talent to inspire faith in his followers. The Port Elizabeth-based pastor has been writing, recording and performing music since 1994 and released his first album, Great God, in 2008.

Scholtz says his music is a reflection of the joy he gains from "inspiring people to come to a place of complete surrender in Jesus".

The faith that shines through in his songs also hit the right notes for Tom Brock, an American music promoter who was searching for new musicians to add to his fledgling record label, Worthwhile Worship. He invited Scholtz to sign a recording contract and the partnership has already borne fruit with the recording of a new album, putting another SAMRO member firmly in the international spotlight.

For this album, titled Holding on to You, the pastor strove to create music that was exciting to listen to, but also simple enough to play during a Sunday-morning service. To do so, he enlisted the talents of producer Dwayne Larring, the former guitarist and producer for Sonicflood - a successful worship band from Nashville, Tennessee. With world-class recording and mastering of South African songs, the pair created an album that has received significant radio play in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Scholtz, who recently returned from a UK tour, says: "This record deal has opened many doors and put me in touch with a lot of people. The album has really been a vehicle into places I could not have gone otherwise. I feel blessed to be doing what I feel I was called to do."

He says the new album will be released digitally through iTunes. "Digital music is changing the playing field for musicians. It is now very easy for listeners to access your music almost immediately after they have heard it played live or on the radio. After the initial launch of the album, I made a number of sales purely through social networks."

Scholtz joined SAMRO early in his career and is thankful for the support he has received to collect royalties arising from the radio play of his first album both at home and abroad. This, along with the other revenue he receives as a SAMRO member, helps him continue to write new music for the Harvest Christian Church, where he leads worship and performs to a congregation of over 2 000 people.

Visit www.markjscholtz.com to find out more.

Plugging into the power of SAMRO's new web portal

SAMRO is currently in the final testing phase of its revolutionary new web portal. Soon you will have more control over your membership and enjoy a new way of interacting with your account and with SAMRO online.

The web portal offers broad functionality and allows members to perform a number of tasks online, including:

  • View and update personal account information
  • Notify works online
  • View current and past account statements

"Members will soon be able to find tips and tutorials on setting up their accounts on the SAMRO website (www.samro.org). We will also be sending emails to members with further information," says SAMRO’s Sipho Dlamini.

All SAMRO members’ existing data will be migrated to the new system. Once you have registered with the online portal, you will be able to access this information freely. There is no need to resubmit any previously submitted notifications. This is a perfect opportunity to visit your profile and confirm that all your information is up to date and correctly captured.

"We encourage our members to embrace this technology. It is there to make things easier for them and to improve the level of accuracy of the data we hold on our systems regarding their works and what we use to complete distributions," says Dlamini.

"The time members spend interacting with the system helps us perform our job better and ensures that members get the most value from their compositions," he says.

Watch this space for more information or visit a www.samro.org.za.

Cash in on your international performances

South African musicians are making waves around the world, with everyone from DJ Black Coffee to The Parlotones performing on stages in the four corners of the globe.

When they do, the job of protecting their rights and collecting royalties from these performances usually falls to SAMRO through its international affiliates. Yet SAMRO says many members don’t realise they’re entitled to these royalties, nor do they inform SAMRO when they perform abroad.

In terms of international copyright law, all authors and composers who perform abroad enjoy "performing rights" protection. This entitles them to earn royalties collected from music-usage licence fees paid by the venues in which they perform. This is over and above any agreement the band might have with the venue.

So, even if your band is paid for the performance directly by the venue, you are still entitled to royalty payments from the performance. Yet, because most members don’t notify SAMRO when this happens, they often don’t receive these royalties.

SAMRO members should inform SAMRO’s International Affairs Department of the dates and venues of all the performances planned, along with the contact details of the venue owners and event organisers. You should also submit a detailed set list for each performance. This gives SAMRO’s team the information they need to follow up after your event to ensure that every musical note you play is turned into currency notes in the form of royalties.

Find out more at www.samro.org.za, email international.affairs@samro.org.za or phone 011 712 8299.

Get to grips with the business of music at Music Exchange

Music Exchange, the two-day independent conference that gets everyone in the music industry talking, is set to take place in Cape Town on 21 and 22 March 2013.

Started in 2009, the Music Exchange conference is the brainchild of Martin Myers, a music publicist and co-owner of Triple M Entertainment, as well Peter Lacey, Managing Director of Musketeer Records, and iconic musician Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse.

The conference brings industry players together to discuss, debate, collaborate and get down to the business of music. Every year it offers artists, industry professionals and like-minded individuals the chance to network, exchange ideas and catch up on the latest industry trends.

Music Exchange 2013 will present panel discussions and keynote addresses from various industry perspectives. Among the topics up for discussion will be the profitable use of the growing number of mediums available to musicians and the art of "getting your music out there". Seasoned artists, producers and songwriters will head up a panel discussing "the song that made them famous", while South African artists and composers living abroad will talk about their careers on the international stage.

"I believe that this conference has contributed in significant ways to all of us - speakers and delegates alike - who had the privilege of attending. It left me with one of those strange feelings that I wished the entire industry was there. I look forward to this year’s conference with great anticipation," said SAMRO CEO Nick Motsatse following last year’s conference.

Visit www.musicexchangesa.wordpress.com for more details on Music Exchange 2013.

Hugh Masekela and Hannes Coetzee up for Grammy glory

It’s music’s biggest night and this year hopes are high for a homegrown Grammy Award, with two South African musicians in the running for kudos. SAMRO wishes to congratulate indomitable jazz giant Hugh Masekela and Klein Karoo guitarist Hannes Coetzee for their 2013 Grammy nominations and wishes them the best of luck at the ceremony in February.

Masekela’s 2010 album Jabulani has been nominated in the Best World Music Album category, while a version of Coetzee’s song’s Mahalla features on the Carolina Chocolate Drops album Leaving Eden, which is a contender in the Best Folk Album category.

Produced and arranged by Don Laka, Jabulani has earned Masekela his second Grammy nomination - his first was for Grazin’ in the Grass (1968). A collection of reinterpreted traditional African wedding songs, Jabulani is a tribute to the township weddings of yesteryear and includes the singles Makoti, Sossie and Bambezela. It was produced and arranged by Don Laka.

He is nominated in the world music category alongside Amadou and Mariam, Daniel Ho, Anoushka Shankar and the late Ravi Shankar.

Hailing from a small town just outside Mossel Bay, Coetzee’s style is as unique as his music. Using a "pick-up and pinch" style (known in Afrikaans as optel en knyp) with a teaspoon in his mouth, sliding out the melody, Coetzee was discovered by David Kramer and featured in his hit musical theatre production, and accompanying album, Karoo Kitaar Blues.

Mahalla first caught the world’s attention when it went viral on YouTube and this is most likely where traditional folk group Carolina Chocolate Drops discovered it and decided to record it. The band picked up a Grammy for its album Genuine Negro Jig in 2010.

The 2013 Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on 10 February 2013 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, and SAMRO wishes Masekela and Coetzee the best of luck - we’re rooting for you!

Help SAMRO to ensure you get your performance royalties

Did you know that as a SAMRO member, you are entitled to Performing Rights royalties from your live performances - over and above the fee a SAMRO-licensed venue would pay you for entertaining its patrons?

Not everyone is aware of this fact, which is why the Sales Division at SAMRO is increasing its efforts to ensure that live performance venues are properly licensed. This includes clubs, pubs, music festivals and restaurants. By collecting licence fees from these establishments, SAMRO turns live performances into additional rands and cents for its members.

You can assist SAMRO in its efforts to license music venues by notifying the Licensing Department of the venues at which you perform - including details of all past and future performances.

Email licsales@samro.org.za or alan.gustafson@samro.org.za for more information.