The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) will, for the first time, introduce a once-off application fee for musicians who wish to join the organisation, which will be used to cover the administration costs of processing new membership applications. This application fee is not applicable to current SAMRO Members.
The non-refundable application fee for first-time applicants will be R100 for composers and authors and R500 for publishers and will come into effect from 01 June 2023.
Over the past few years, we have experienced a significant increase in the number of new member applications. In 2018 alone, SAMRO received 10 000 new applications. Since then, the organisation has continued to grow, with an average of 20 000 registrations annually. While the growth in our membership base is exciting, it also places additional pressure on the organisation and existing members, who have to carry the costs of this influx of new members. The time and money resources directed at processing and registering new members represent a considerable opportunity cost to existing SAMRO Members.
The once-off fee is nominal, and is not meant to discourage musicians from joining SAMRO, but rather to ensure that our existing members receive the most benefit and efficient service from our organisation. It will help alleviate the burden on current members and allow us to continue providing the highest level of service possible.
SAMRO is an organisation that administers the Performing Rights on behalf of Members. Currently, we represent about 170 217 Members who are music composers, authors, and publishers. Of these, only 24 183 (14%) are earning Members, who are Associate and Full Members, meaning that 14% of our Members are inadvertently covering the administration costs of processing new member applications.
This decision was made in response to your requests for the organisation to reduce its operating costs and maximise value for you. It is not unusual for membership-based organisations to charge some type of registration or application fee, and we believe that this is a fair measure to implement.
Our commitment to you remains steadfast. We will continue to enhance our service levels, create additional value, and uphold fairness, integrity, and inclusivity principles in all our operations.