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MBABANE - This will sound like music to the ears of SAMRO and CAPASSO members.

Chinese short-form video app TikTok has partnered with the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) and the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) on a multi-year licensing deal. TikTok has announced a multi-year licensing agreement to cover 58 territories across the African continent with a repertoire from 21 separate collective management organisations.. The deal will see songwriters, composers, and music publishers paid royalties when their music is used on the video-sharing social networking service.  CAPASSO will administer the agreement for more than 4 500 of its members and associates.

“We are happy to have reached an agreement with TikTok in order to ensure that pan-African songwriters are taken care of on the platform,” CAPASSO Chief Operations Officer Wiseman Qinani Ngubo said. Ngubo added that TikTok had revolutionised how fans consumed music. “TikTok allows fans to co-create, contextualise and reinterpret their favourite songs alongside their favourite artists and drives engagement and a deeper appreciation of songs in an era where music consumption is increasingly divorced from context. With the increasing spotlight on African music, more African songwriters are poised to reach global superstar status and TikTok will play a major role in showcasing their talents to the world,” he said. It is worth noting that CAPASSO and SAMRO are two distinct entities, they licence digital use jointly and artists need to be members of both organisations to reap the benefits of the latest deal. There are no signup or membership fees when registering with SAMRO. CAPASSO has an administration fee of E100 for artists and E250 for their publishers.


“Streaming royalty calculations are not based on a fixed rate per stream, rather they are based on what is termed a pro rata share of the available pool.  This means, in essence, royalties are determined by one’s market share, as determined by usage, in each period” said Ngubo. One of the members of SAMRO Sandziso ‘Sands’ Matsebula, through his manager Melusi ‘Zox’ Dlamini expressed his excitement. He shared that the opportunity might not create enough revenue locally, but it will create a platform for artists internationally. “We were very excited at Kingdom Tales to learn that TikTok now pays royalties to artists. After years of allowing billions of streams without paying artists, the app now has licensing deals in place with a couple of good music labels, distributors and publishers. Of course, this is not going to create much revenue locally because of the size of our market, but internationally, artists will be able to earn something.

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