Difference between CAPASSO and SAMRO

difference between capasso and samro

Some musicians tend to get confused and not know the difference between capasso and samro.

Well they are both music rights organizations (music collection societies) but they collect different types of royalties.

In the following blog post I will explain the difference between the two.


Capasso is quite new because it was only launched in July 2014.  The acronym is short for composers, authors and publishers association.

This organization is responsible for the administration and collection of mechanical rights on behalf of authors (songwriters) and music publishers.

Each time music is reproduced a mechanical royalty has to be paid to the songwriter. In case you don’t know how that works I would advise you to go over this blog post on mechanical royalties.   

But before you can fully grasp on how these royalties are distributed, you can also read the previous post explaining copyrights and ownership of masters.

When you’re ready to submit your music or do business with capasso, you can get a hold of these capasso application forms in order to get started.


Samro has been around the block (That’s fifty nine years to be precise). Now Samro’s mandate is to administer the performance rights of composers, authors and publishers.

Here’s how it works.

Music User

A music user can be a business in the form of restaurant, a club, a retail shop, a broadcaster, a hotel the list is endless.

All these businesses have to apply for a music license at samro before they can even think of playing any music at their establishments.

Once samro grants a license to the music user, they will collect all monies from them and distribute that as royalties back to their members (music creators).

Music Creator

As a music creator (composer or author) it is your responsibility to ensure that your work is registered with samro.

If you are not yet a member, you should first download and submit the relevant samro forms. Once your work has been registered on the samro database, they will be able track and monitor your music should it be play listed on radio or performed in the public domain.

As mentioned, if your music is performed in a club, restaurant, shopping mall, etc. Samro will administer and collect performance rights royalties on your behalf. BUT make sure that your notifications of works forms are up to date.

mechanical and performance rights royalties
Image Credit: Songtrust


Okay let’s wrap this up.

The difference between capasso and samro is that the former is responsible for collecting mechanical royalties while the latter administers and collects performance rights royalties.

And it’s that simple ladies and gentleman.

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