sampra vs samro

If you are reading this, you probably want to know which music collection society you should register with, SAMPRA vs SAMRO?

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


SAMPRA short for the South African Music Performance Rights Association is a body that deals with Needletime royalties.

I will explain this in a very simplistic way.

Let’s say you are a keyboardist, a drummer, guitarist, a music producer, a vocalist and so on and contributed to a recorded performance. Then you would be classified as a recording artist.

Each time music is played is played in the public domain (Television, Live performances and so forth) you will earn a needletime royalty.

As mentioned this applies to session musicians and anybody who has contributed to the recorded performance in the studio. And that includes the record labels.

But in order to receive your needletime royalties, you have to register for RISA membership first.


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) focuses on the administration, collection and the distribution of performance rights royalties.

If you are a composer, a songwriter or publisher you have to ensure that your musical works are registered on the SAMRO database.

Performance rights royalties are derived from radio, television, concerts, restaurants, shopping malls etc.

Whenever music is played in any of the mentioned establishments; SAMRO will collect and distribute all royalties back to members.

Should I Register with Both?

Yes, it’s important to register with both collection societies in order to benefit and earn different royalties.

Failure to do so means you will be leaving a lot of money on the table.

To sum it up

SAMPRA collects and distributes needletime royalties to members of the Recording Industry of South Africa. Members include Recording artists and record labels

On the other had SAMRO administers and collects performance royalties on behalf of composers, authors and music publishers.

3 thoughts on “SAMPRA VS SAMRO

  1. Please kindly send me the previous write up/ topic contents Management deal v Record deal: which is better and the A & R Rep topic contents.

  2. Please give me advice.
    We have a SAMRO and SAMPRA license and have been paying them each for more than a decade. We are a Game Lodge and obviously things have changed tremendously over the years since we started.
    – We have a restaurant and play background music
    – We don’t have any entertainers (musicians) that perform here anymore.
    – We still have the occasional wedding with a DJ doing the music. Only about 5 or 6 a year.
    – We don’t have background music playing at reception etc. throughout the day
    Do we still need both licenses?

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