The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) recently hosted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where it unpacked its robust financial performance during the 2022 fiscal year.
SAMRO Chairperson Nicholas Maweni says that during 2022, SAMRO collected R515 million in licence and royalty income, up R38 million from the prior year. Investment income increased by over R10 million and royalties distributed increased by 7.6%, to R253 million, as compared to R235.2 million in 2021. Improved revenues were driven by fewer lockdowns and a more efficient royalty collection process. While many countries see licensing revenue from broadcast decrease, SAMRO saw an increase in broadcast revenue of R25.9 million.
“At the same time, SAMRO’s costs were also significantly lower this year, declining by 8.1% or R12.8 million. Its cost to income ratio decreased from 29.3% in 2021 to 25.9% in 2022, which is also significantly down from 40% four years ago. This is mainly due to tight cost control and more efficient processes.”
“During the period, the organisation also saw an increase in the total amount available for distribution. This increased from R338.7 million in 2021 to R452.3 million in 2022. The increase, as noted above, is directly attributable to improved revenue and reduced costs, which ultimately translates into more earnings being distributed to the organisation’s members,” says Maweni
He notes that despite operating in a tough economic environment, with inflation at a 12-year high of 7.6%, SAMRO managed to overcome the spectre of escalating bad debts with much improved collections in the 2022 financial year. In 2021, the organisation saw increased revenue attributable to earnings from foreign usage at R17 million. SAMRO budgeted R20 million in 2022 and achieved R24.5 million. With an increase in digital revenues in the pipeline, it expects substantially better revenues in 2023.
“As SAMRO continues to build revenue towards its ambitious goal of attaining R1 billion by 2025, we will continue to look at extracting more revenue from digital platforms, government departments and city municipalities, schools and previously unlicenced sectors like the transport industry, while continuing to improve the broadcast, general licensing and live industries collections,” adds Maweni
Looking ahead to 2023, Maweni says that SAMRO looks forward to tirelessly collecting more royalties on behalf of its members. While SAMRO’s members bring music notes to life, the organisation remains committed to doing its utmost to ensure that the vestiges of the COVID-19 pandemic do not thwart it from achieving its aims and initiatives of supporting local musicians and strengthening the local industry as a whole.
“SAMRO’s composers, authors, lyricists and publishers can rest assured that SAMRO is a proactive and innovative organisation that is always looking for new ways to protect their interests and ensure that they are compensated accurately for their work,” he concludes