Music Creator

Do you compose music of any kind, or write lyrics? Congratulations! You’re a Music Creator!


Music Creators are People Who Make the Powerful Works that SAMRO Administers

If you compose music of any kind, write lyrics or are a music publisher, you may apply for SAMRO membership


How to Apply

As a Music Creator, you need to meet a few requirements before we can approve your
membership application.

Your Musical Works

You must have either created musical works or your musical works must be active - meaning they have been broadcast or played for the public or in public spaces. It is advisable to apply for SAMRO membership as soon as the musical works are created, meaning that you do not have to wait for your musical works to be active.

Online Application

A non-refundable application fee is required for first-time applicants. The fee is R100 for Composers and Authors and R500 for Publishers. Current SAMRO Members are exempt from paying the fee. To apply, submit the SAMRO Member Application form, Notification of Works form, Deed of Assignment form, and a copy of your ID.

Follow Up

Once all the required documents are received and correctly filled in, the process can take two weeks to a month. Feel free to check in with SAMRO after this period to confirm that your registration has been accepted.

What Type of Music Creator are You?

Composer, Lyricist/Author or Music Publisher?
Click the tabs to find out more.


If you pour your heart into writing and creating original music - you’re a composer!

Composers make magic out of musical notes. We’re talking anything from composing music for songs to those soundtracks you hear on movies or jingles – all the way up to orchestral symphonies.

As a composer, there are a number of rights that vest within your compositions. SAMRO administers what is known as Performing Rights, and controls what happens when your music is performed in public.

Lyricist/ Author

Lyrics give meaning to music. If you weave words into melodies and create lyrics that accompany music, it makes you a music author, and you are entitled to be paid royalties whenever your music is used.

SAMRO administers the music copyright related to Performing Rights and collects licence fees which are then distributed as royalties on your behalf. This means that if someone wants to use your lyrics to perform in public or to play or broadcast it – they need a usage licence.

Music Publisher

Music Publishers are organisations or people who get your musical works to the big world. This is where your works might be used in an advert, movie or as part of another recording – such as when a DJ samples a chorus line from a song. Music Publishers usually help music creators get their fair share whenever their works are used on those platforms.

To be a SAMRO member, a publisher must have a catalogue of musical works that have been commercially published or recorded. And the author/s of the music works must be members of SAMRO or one of our international partners.

Know Your Rights

Collecting societies play a crucial role in promoting
and developing the collection and distribution
of music royalties.
They also protect the intellectual property
of music creators.

Performing Rights

Performing Rights are the rights to perform music in public and is part of copyright law.

Performing Rights are the rights to perform music publicly are part of copyright law.

The users of the musical works have to, by law, pay the creators of those musical works for the public use of their music.

Performing Rights belong to the person or people who own the music - music composers, lyricists or music publishers who wrote, created or produced it.

They earn royalties when the music is either performed in public, or broadcast on mediums such as TV or radio, and even when used in a telephone message service or played in an elevator, SAMRO ensures that playback time is payback time.

Mechanical Rights

Royalties earned when music is reproduced by a device or machine.

Royalties earned when music is reproduced by a device or machine.

‘Mechanical Rights’ is a fancy name for the royalties that composers, lyricists and music publishers earn when their music is copied and transformed onto things like cassettes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s – even ringtones – for public use. In other words, when it is reproduced by a device or a machine.

In the past, Mechanical Rights were managed by both SAMRO and NORM (National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music), but this has recently changed. In order to make life simpler for music creators and better serve members, SAMRO and NORM decided to work together to establish a new organisation to manage Mechanical Rights through one administrative body.

Thus, CAPASSO was born – the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association. This new body, CAPASSO, is responsible for licensing your music and collecting fees from Music Users like radio stations and advertising agencies, DJ’s and anyone who makes copies, cover versions or compilation CDs.

Needletime Rights

Needletime Rights royalties are earned by recording artists.

Needletime Rights royalties make sure performers and recording artists get paid when their music is played in public.

These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments, or singing the lyrics when the recording was made.

Even if they didn’t write the song or the lyrics, their talent contributed to the final product. So, they should get paid any time the song is played on the radio or anywhere else in public for that matter.

In South Africa, Needletime Rights are administered by the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA)



Still cant find the answer to your question?

Do my works have to be published before I can receive royalties?

No. Works can be notified to SAMRO as manuscripts (MS) works or unpublished. Many choral and serious music works are unpublished. If these works are recorded and there is no publisher involved, you should then consider joining a society, which will look after your mechanical royalties.

When are royalties paid?

Members receive royalties every year through four main payouts: Grant of Payment, Radio and General, Television and Films, as well as Foreign Royalty distribution. Click here to view the distribution schedule.

Where do I send my notification forms?

Please send your notification forms to the SAMRO Customer Service department.
Tel: 086 117 2676 or email:

How do I get my royalties paid?

SAMRO pays your royalties directly into your account via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Please double-check that your bank details are correct to avoid problems with payments.

Is there an entry or annual membership fee?

Yes.  As of 01 June 2023, new applicants are required to pay a non-refundable once-off application fee.

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