Season’s Greetings message from the SAMRO Management Team
Here's to a sweetly melodic 2013!
As we prepare to wind down towards the end-of-year holidays, and a well-deserved break for all our music creators, travel safely and responsibly on the roads this festive season.
We would like you to arrive alive at your destination and return home safe and sound, so that you can continue making music that enriches our souls.
For those of you celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah, may it be a peaceful and blessed time for you. For others who are simply taking an end-of-year break to recharge their batteries and spend quality time with loved ones, we trust you will return to your art revitalised and creatively reinvigorated in the New Year!
Important things to consider before sharing your original music works online.
While sharing your music online is a useful strategy that provides you with accessibility to a global audience, you need a clear digital distribution strategy and an understanding of the contract you are entering into when making use of these online platforms.
"Online media knows no borders, bringing musicians countless possibilities. For instance Die Antwoord is a story of a South African band that sold out tour dates around the world after building up a following on Youtube," remarks Xolani Zulu, Mechanical Rights Accounts Executive at SAMRO.
"There’s no question that technological advances have created a world of resources and publicity for musicians wanting to showcase their musical works; however it’s important for these musicians to read the fine print and make a decision on how this content is uploaded and distributed to the public."Xolani continued to say.
Musicians are encouraged to do the relevant research and implement a digital distribution strategy that will work for their needs, whether this is exploiting social networking sites, signing up with a content aggregator - a site that pulls together content for users - or staying strictly commercial. Most importantly, the first step following the creation of the song should be to apply for membership with an organisation such as SAMRO and then notify your musical works with them.
When it comes to digital media, the medium is still new and relatively flexible, there are no hard and fast rules. The responsibility lies with the musicians to determine how much control they would like to exert over their works in the public domain. After registering with SAMRO, notifying your music and implementing a distribution strategy, musicians should make sure they read and understand contracts and disclaimers affecting their content. "From there, content control is king" says Zulu.
For more information on monitoring your online musical content, contact Xolani Zulu, Mechanical Rights Accounts Executive at SAMRO on firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMRO Member Profile: DJ Choma - Embracing social networks
Producer, musician and SAMRO member DJ Choma, believes that the immediacy of the online space is now one of the most important marketing tools for musicians.
Hailing from Limpopo, SAMRO member Eliyah Papole better known as DJ Choma has been in the music industry for twelve years. He started his career out as a lead singer with the Kwaito and Afro pop band Machessa with Abram Makwala aka Shoes-Mola and shared the stage with artists like Arthur Mafokate and Ringo Madlingozi, before going solo in 2005.
Along with being a professional DJ, keyboardist, drummer, singer and songwriter, DJ Choma also works as a music producer on his record label Choma Productions. This year they signed on disco and jazz artist Freddy Papole and soul house band Vinal. Both Papole and Vinal’s albums will be released in 2013.
DJ Choma’s first album Dance Village Vol.1 was released in 2011 featuring tracks like Da Capo, Problem Child, Envy, RedDeep and Jack Lo Muntu. His second album entitled Meropa, produced by himself and Durban producer Dr. Via will be released in December 2012.
The first single off the album, also entitled Meropa, is sung in Sepedi, DJ Choma’s mother tongue. His decision to sing in Sepedi is a tribute to where he comes from in Limpopo.
"Much of who I am, is because of where I come from," he says.
DJ Choma not only uses social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but also mobile products like Black Berry Messenger (BBM) and Whatsapp to reach his listeners and grow his fan base.
"I believe social media is vitally important for any musician these days. It is quick, free and I get immediate feedback from my fans, even the media cannot give you that," says DJ Choma who is active online every day promoting his music and live gigs.
We asked DJ Choma what he thought of the newly designed SAMRO website and the online platforms it offers members.
"I love it," he says.
"It is so easy now, you can see all the catergories of membership, the benefits, the types of licences and you can download all the forms. For me that is very important to musicians. I am currently having my website designed, and I have ensured that there is link to SAMRO, " he says.
Featured Lincensee: Boom.fm
Boom.fm is a forerunner in the growing trend of online music streaming, and part of setting up their interactive hub of online content has been educating industry newcomers on implementing the relevant SAMRO licences.
Up and coming bands and undiscovered musicians alike will be thrilled with the new platform of exposure offered by Boom.fm; a local online streaming and music purchase website. Its founder, Ruth Harris, is right in saying that gaining recognition in the industry is as tough as starting up a small business, and comes with its fair share of challenges.
Breaking new ground in South Africa, Boom.fm specifically caters to South African musicians and bands who seek a platform to feature their talent, and who want to eventually earn revenue from their works. In addition, they provide marketing platforms and make sure that the right information is relayed to indie musicians on how to effectively manage their brand, strike a better deal with a label and make it happen for themselves.
Boom.fm has set up a resourceful online campaign called Project #DIY, aimed at gathering expert advice from industry heavyweights to empower new musicians, and assist them on their journey to success.
SAMRO kicks off Project #DIY with SAMRO representative Xolani Zulu explaining the difference between composers rights and the master rights holder and what exactly it means to license music.
Be sure to keep up to date with Project #DIY by following the Boom.fm blog on http://blog.boom.fm/. Take full advantage of these innovative and supportive services by signing up with Boom.fm on http://boom.fm/signup/artist
SAMRO raises online platforms for added value
SAMRO’s new and improved website is now live and offers an array of services to support members and the music industry at large.
Have you taken a look at the new SAMRO website? Visually attractive and user-friendly, the new website is more interactive than ever before and promises to make your online experience more simple, useful and enjoyable.
The new website makes use of cutting-edge technology which ensures that regardless of the device you use to access the website (smart phones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops and so on), the website will automatically adjust to your browser. This eliminates the need for a separate mobisite.
Some of the SAMRO website’s key features include:
- Careers - Users can apply for SAMRO jobs online and submit their CVs electronically;
- Search - The user is able to search for information contained within the website;
- Downloadable application forms;
- Events - Music creators and members of the public may submit their events to be featured on the website;
- SAMRO newsletters and SAMRO Notes - Users can access, view and download SAMRO publications from the site as a PDF or electronic magazine (e-zine);
- Sign up/subscribe option to SAMRO newsletters;
- Social media and RSS feeds integration
SAMRO is always looking at new and unique ways of supporting South African musicians through its online media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Two features that have become a key highlight on their Facebook page and Twitter feed are - New Music Mondays and Gig Guide Fridays - these features will ensure that your week starts and finishes on high note!
New Music Mondays, invites music creators to send information about any new singles or albums that they have recently released, to be featured on our page every Monday. With Gig Guide Fridays, we invite music creators to share some of their upcoming gigs and music related events also to be featured online. No gig too big or too small!
With excitement building, as SAMRO gears up to launch its fully functional web portal in January 2013, they continue to make use of new media platforms to to stay in tune with music creators. Striving to provide entertaining, highly informative and educational content on their online platforms.
To have your album featured on our Facebook page please inbox details of your album on Facebook page or to email@example.com.
To submit your events please visit our website www.samro.org.za, we will select submission through our website to be featured on our Facebook page weekly.
The SAMRO Web Portal - Fast, efficient and easy to use
SAMRO’s new Web Portal is on the brink of being launched. Innovative, fast and efficient it takes SAMRO into the digital future and it promises a far superior service to you.
"The SAMRO business model serves you, its member best when we have enough information and as accurate information as possible and that is where the Web Portal will really change things. It makes it a lot easier for you to do the things that we need you to do and that you want to do," says Sipho Dlamini, General Manager: Marketing and Business Development.
Until now the process of notifying songs and live performances has been laborious with plenty of room for error. Now everything can be done online and you can double check it all to ensure accuracy.
Data collected from both the members and licencees can now be automatically collated and active works identified quicker. This will ensure the efficient processing of royalties.
Accessed via SAMRO’s website, the new Web Portal will be available to artists anytime, anywhere, so if you finish recording your new composition at 2am, you can log in immediately and notify SAMRO of the work. You will also be able to notify SAMRO of music performed at gigs and live performances as and when they happen.
Dlamini says that SAMRO will not do away with the paper process either. SAMRO are aware that there are still many members who do not have access to computers or the internet.
"We will ensure that these members still have the services that they are used to," he says.
"This is a huge step forward for SAMRO members, this innovation and level of service is a testimony of SAMRO’s commitment to deliver a better service and to deliver it at a high standard. We are committed to being a high performance organisation and providing services that fit the high level of members that we have," says Dlamini.
Watch this space and the SAMRO website www.samro.org.za for more information about the Web Portal.
Have you travelled to the USA to stage shows or festivals? Do you have knowledge of your works being performed in the USA? As a composer have you earned less than $25,000 in annual performance royalties from ASCAP (American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers)? Then this is for you.
As SAMRO is an affiliate of ASCAP, members whose works have been performed in the USA and have earned less than $25,000 in annual performance royalties from ASCAP are entitled to be a participant in the ASCAP Awards.
So what is an ASCAP Award and how is it different?
The annual ASCAP Awards program was introduced by ASCAP to compensate members of affiliated societies for the performance of their works in public performance establishments in the USA, licensed by ASCAP but not included in the society's distributions surveys. This unique International Awards Program, addresses this by providing the opportunity to apply for annual cash awards.
Although ASCAP funds this program all determinations are made solely by independent members of the music community who are neither members nor employees of ASCAP, and whose decisions are final. The Awards Program is not a contest or competition in which specific work is critically evaluated, it is the actual performance of works licensed by ASCAP in the USA and this serves as the primary basis for the Panel’s determinations. Awards are made annually.
How to claim your annual cash award:
What you need to do is provide the International Affairs Department at SAMRO with the following information about your performances and they will do the rest.
- Date/s of your performances
- Titles of the works (songs) performed
- Name of the performer/s
- Location of the performance (venue where the performance took place)
- Important: Please submit supporting documentation (eg. Printed advertisements, news paper clippings, reviews, letters of confirmation, any additional information to support your application). These will be reviewed by the Panel who determines your qualification.
- All information reported should reflect activities that have taken place over ASCAP’s current fiscal year, i.e. 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012.
- Please do not send scores or recordings as these items will not be reviewed and cannot be returned.
The closing date for all submissions is 15 January 2013. Your award will be sent to SAMRO together with ASCAP’s distribution to SAMRO in August 2013. Upon receipt of the distribution SAMRO will effect the Award payment directly into your account (the awards will not form part of SAMRO’s foreign distribution - the royalties awarded to our members are paid immediately upon receipt).
For further information please contact International Affairs Department at SAMRO on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011-712-8272 or 011-712-8299