The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) – already Africa’s biggest royalty collection society – is now going high-tech to improve efficiency with the aim of becoming a R1-billion-a-year revenue organisation by 2025.
SAMRO Chairperson Nicholas Maweni says the revenue target is underpinned by technology innovation, as well as plans to become the best employer and collective management organisation (CMO) in at least 10 Southern African countries.
For 60 years SAMRO has efficiently administered music rights on behalf of its members – music composers, authors and publishers.
Maweni said SAMRO strives to be the leading and most admired CMO in Africa respected by the global community and members. SAMRO has unveiled an online registration process for music users who wish to apply for a music usage licence to play music in the course of doing business.
The online registration portal simplifies and streamlines the process. The introduction of the online member registration system will advance the member experience when applying for SAMRO membership.
“Innovation is no longer an option, but a must for any organisation that wants to remain competitive," said Maweni.
"Late last year (2021), we introduced a high-tech solution that will vastly improve the collection and payment of royalties. The technology enables monitoring of airplay across platforms such as the internet, television, and radio. It will improve the accuracy and efficiency with which SAMRO is able to collect and pay royalties to members.”
This year, SAMRO will also embark on a Business Replacement System project, which will utilise a matching tool and be used by players in multiple industries.
This tool will provide SAMRO with efficiencies in the form of a reduction in resourcing, undocumented works and queries.
Maweni, who has an illustrious executive career in IT, having worked for several multinationals said: “The solution is cloud-based and includes machine cloud-based big data technologies and artificial intelligence. It will also provide SAMRO with business and information technology systems that will support envisaged business processing models and volumes.”
Maweni said, the project will allow for integration (where available via an online application programming interface) with all CISAC tools.
It will provide SAMRO with the advantages of immediate interested parties information allocation, integrated access to audio-video interleave and WID repertoire information, access to live performance tools, etc.
“We will continue to roll out innovative solutions and initiatives to assist our members to earn a decent living," said Maweni.
"As an innovative and progressive organisation, SAMRO is constantly seeking ways to create value for our artists."
Various industry experts agreed that SAMRO’s plans to harness technology will help position it as a tech-savvy, innovative and creative CMO that will create even more value for its members and the Southern African music sector as a whole.
SAMRO’s technology-focused strategy and appetite for innovation will also underpin its goal to achieve R1 billion in annual revenue which it plans to reach by expanding its membership.
To this end, the organisation wants to cement its position as the leading CMO in the Southern African region.
In conclusion, Maweni said that the project is cost-effective and positions SAMRO competitively in the industry. "It will have a saving benefit of over R55 million over five years."