Narrowcasting - adding value to your customer experience
Through narrowcasting, music has the power to transform an ordinary shop or venue into a pleasant experience for clients and customers.
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. And for businesses, the benefit is that the music creates a certain feel or ambience," explains Setshedi. "That then adds value for the business as this is enjoyed by the target market, and it makes the audience stay longer - for instance, at a restaurant - and keep coming back."
Adds Xolani Zulu, the Accounts Executive for Mechanical Rights at SAMRO: "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."
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.
Licensee profile: Pick n Pay in groundbreaking partnership with Freshlyground
Supermarket chain Pick n Pay is setting an example for other music users 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 and Pick n Pay are setting an example that will hopefully followed by other musicians and brands.
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.
SAMRO: A key player in the global music rights arena
SAMRO plays a major role in a global network of music rights societies that champions the rights of musicians around the world, helping shape the future of the business and putting the African music industry on the map.
For over 50 years, SAMRO has championed music rights in Southern Africa, and today looks after the interests of more than 12 000 songwriters and composers, collecting and distributing royalties when their music works are used in public.
But SAMRO also administers a massive repertoire database of music from all over the world. Moreover, it plays a key role in global music rights administration bodies, placing Africa firmly in the international spotlight.
As a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and BIEM (the main international organisation regulating mechanical rights societies), SAMRO is part of a powerful worldwide network. These organisations are bound by international laws and work together to ensure that composers and authors are rewarded for their hard work.
Through reciprocal agreements, SAMRO receives licence fees from 225 collecting societies in 150 countries around the world. Likewise, when the music of foreign musicians is used in South Africa, SAMRO passes the royalties on to the collecting society in the relevant country.
Furthermore, SAMRO holds an extremely senior position in these bodies, with SAMRO CEO Nick Motsatse currently serving his second three-year term as a vice-chairman of the CISAC Board of Directors. Several senior SAMRO managers and officials serve on various CISAC committees, and SAMRO has been a member of its African Committee since 1994.
But it's not all about legal issues and committee meetings - it's also about showcasing and promoting South African and African cultural talent. SAMRO sponsors a number of performances, music festivals and awards - such as the SAMRO Foundation's Overseas Scholarships competition. SAMRO also supports international industry trade fairs and music showcases such as MOSHITO in Johannesburg, MIDEM in France and the World Music Expo (WOMEX).
Truly a proudly African music rights organisation with a solid international footprint!
Two SA music maestros up for Grammys glory
SAMRO wishes to congratulate jazz giant Hugh Masekela on his 2013 Grammy Awards nomination in the Best World Music Album category for his release Jabulani. More exciting news is that a composition by Cape "teaspoon guitarist" Hannes Coetzee also features on a Grammy-nominated album.
Produced and arranged by Don Laka, Jabulani was recorded in Johannesburg. Featuring a collection of traditional African wedding songs reinterpreted by the legendary songwriter, the album is a tribute to the township weddings of yesteryear. It includes the singles Makoti, Sossie and Bambezela.
Since the start of his career in the 1950s, Masekela has released 43 albums, including his first Grammy-nominated album Grazin' in the Grass (1968). During his illustrious career Masekela has performed on stages with some of the world's most celebrated artists, including Miriam Makeba and three-time Grammy winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
He is nominated in the world music category alongside Amadou and Mariam, Daniel Ho, Anoushka Shankar and the late Ravi Shankar.
As for Coetzee, who rose to national attention when David Kramer included him in his Karoo Kitaar Blues show and on the accompanying album several years ago, his song Mahalla has been covered by American folk act the Carolina Chocolate Drops on their album Leaving Eden, which has been nominated in the Best Folk Album category at the Grammys.
Coetzee's guitar-playing style can truly be termed unique: it is known as "optel en knyp" (pick up and pinch), sliding out his melodies on his battered guitar with a teaspoon in his mouth.
The 2013 Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on 10 February 2013, and SAMRO is holding thumbs for Bra Hugh and Bra Hannes!