3 benefits of being a SAMRO member
People often ask me what the use of being a member of SAMRO is. My gut response is to tell them about the buckets of royalties they’ll miss out on if they aren’t a member of a Performance rights organization. Today I want to highlight a few of the lesser known reasons for registering with SAMRO. I think it’s also important to note that I’m not a SAMRO employee. I’m a music producer who’s been a SAMRO member since 2008.
Earn performance royalties all over the world
Sure, you can register with BMI, ASCAP or GEMA because your favorite artist recommended them, but it’s always good to be a part of a local organization. I found myself calling the SAMRO call centre quite frequently when I first joined and the process of getting a hold of them over the phone was quite easy. I had answers to my questions in minutes and it didn’t cost me more than a bit of airtime. As advanced as BMI and other international companies may be, support will always be slow if you aren’t in their country as you’ll always be sending emails. Communicating primarily via email means you’re never really sure if the inbox is being attended to until a few days after. That can be a real spanner in the works when you’re trying to focus on a new release.
This one was a surprise for me. The first time I received my SAMRO pension fund statement, I was a bit shocked. My contribution for that year was about R1000.00. That may sound like a small amount, but from what I’ve gathered that contribution amount fluctuates. In the long run it can only benefit you to have a bit of extra money coming your way for retirement. This fund was a nice touch that a future version of me will deeply appreciate. Having said this, it’s a great idea to save a portion of your royalty earnings throughout the year so that you can contribute to gathering a healthy sum in the future. We all know a story of an artist who squandered what they earned and is now struggling with very little to show for all their efforts over the years.
Over the years, SAMRO representatives have been present at educational events. They’ve covered multiple topics from selling beats to how to register with them. These events have been great opportunities to ask any burning questions I had. Another opportunity offered by SAMRO are their grants and learning programs. A close colleague of mine enrolled to Boston College through an initiative to educate its members. After looking through their prospectus, I saw the same program being offered for just over R5000.00.
In an attempt to alleviate pressure placed on creatives during the pandemic, SAMRO also granted funds to its members that applied and met their criteria. A colleague of mine applied and received this funding. He reported that the money came at a great time during COVID as he wasn’t able to create music easily.
To sum up, SAMRO registration is a great choice for registration given the above benefits. The sum total cost to be a member is free and although your registration can take a bit of time to go through, it’s well worth it.