In a bid to drum up support for its artists, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) is appealing to South Africa’s big corporates to book exclusive online performances for staff working from home.
SAMRO chairperson Nicholas Maweni said to lift the morale of employees working from home and provide them with some quality entertainment, they were calling on companies and organisations to book online performances by SAMRO members.
Once a performance is booked, it will be exclusively streamed to a group of employees invited by the company, Maweni said.
“While this would be a great way to entertain people who often have to spend many hours of their day alone, in front of their laptops, it is also an initiative to help artists who have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions that have now been in place for more than a year.”
The arts and culture sector had been one of the hardest hit in the country, as measures to curb the spread of the pandemic include a ban on all live performances. This had been a particularly hard blow for SAMRO members, Maweni said.
“While royalties earned from the use of their work continue to trickle in, the lion’s share of our members’ earnings come from live performances. You can only imagine what a devastating effect this ban has had on most of our members.”
SAMRO’s primary role is to administer performing rights on behalf of its members – typically composers and authors. The organisation does this by licensing music users (such as television and radio broadcasters, live music venues, retailers, restaurants, promoters and shopping centres), through the collection of licence fees which are then distributed as royalties.
Maweni said the support of corporate South Africa would go a long way to support SAMRO members and help to keep the South African music industry alive.
“Many artists are really struggling at this time and it is our duty as SAMRO to protect their rights and ensure their ultimate survival. While we are appealing for help from the corporate sector, we’re not merely asking for a handout. In return for their participation, corporates will get access to some of the country’s top musical talent and performances of great original compositions,” Maweni said.
Here are SAMRO’s contact details:
- : +27 11 712 8000
- : +27 (0) 86 674 4391
- : firstname.lastname@example.org