From 1 January 2020, commercial businesses, catering companies and event organisers will be able to settle both the copyright royalties and the fair remuneration via the single music platform Unisono. The collective management organisations PlayRight, Sabam and SIMIM have joined forces for this purpose. The aim of this joint investment is to simplify administration, increase transparency and provide a more efficient service.
Music, everyone's business
The enormous economic and social added value of music is indisputable. A study by Profacts in collaboration with Ghent University on the value of music, for example, shows that music benefits our well-being. It influences the well-being of customers in their purchases and increases the productivity of staff. Businesses that play music therefore benefit from this.
Obviously, the authors, composers, publishers, performers and producers of that music have to be paid. For this, private companies and government services can already turn to Unisono today and easily regulate the use of music in the workplace, on their website and on their telephone lines by means of a single registration.
Commercial businesses, catering companies and event organisers on the other hand still have to turn to two separate organisations: Sabam and the Fair Remuneration (PlayRight & SIMIM). But that will soon change.
One platform for administrative simplification and transparency
The collective management organisations concerned have been consulting with each other and with the government for some time now. With results! On 29 May 2019, the Belgian Official Gazette published the legal framework for the single platform. As of 1 January 2020, every music user can turn to Unisono. There he can easily and quickly apply for his licence, for which he will only receive one invoice. This way, there is no longer any likelihood of confusion or ambiguity.
Investing in an efficient service for customers and rightholders
With the creation of the single music platform, PlayRight, Sabam and SIMIM not only meet a need that has been around for quite some time among music users. They are also convinced that this investment is a good thing for the local cultural economy. The simpler it is for the user to compensate rightholders, the greater the chance that they will actually get what they are entitled to. Customers who wish to use music in their business can benefit from a simplified application procedure and a transparent service.
Christophe Van Vaerenbergh, CEO of PlayRight: ”Collective management today takes an important step towards modernisation and efficiency. With the creation of a single platform for paying for the use of music, PlayRight, Simim and Sabam are investing heavily in a customer-friendly solution for the users of our repertoire, a repertoire that contributes to their turnover and customer satisfaction. This is a win-win for rightholders and users."
Carine Libert, CEO of Sabam: “This platform gives the management organisations involved the opportunity to work together constructively, in the interest of all stakeholders. In addition to an administrative simplification for its clients, the platform guarantees a correct remuneration of all rightholders. Sabam is proud that with its know-how and expertise it can contribute positively and constructively to the launch of a single platform."
Jasper Verdin, CEO of SIMIM: “The single platform is above all unique because it unites all rightholders, authors, composers, artists and producers in a one-stop-shop for music users. A single point of contact for all those who want to use music and who want all rightholders to be correctly remunerated for this."
“UNIZO has been campaigning for this unification for years. This single platform must put an end to the current confusion and misunderstandings. It also means administrative simplification. UNIZO is therefore very satisfied and hopes that the efficiency gains from this streamlined collection method will also translate into lower collection costs, to the benefit of both the paying entrepreneurs and the authors and performers of the music", said Frank Socquet (Belgian Union of Self-Employed Entrepreneurs).
Tom Kestens, chairman of GALM (Belgian professional federation for Flemish musicians): “GALM has always been in favour of the unified invoice and a single platform. No more ambiguity and red tape. Good news for customers and musicians. We congratulate Sabam, PlayRight and Simim. Unisono is a truly historic step forward."
"A unique platform for a unique collaboration between customers and management organisations that will benefit everyone. The public use of music can and will be as simple as that." That's how Patrick Mortier, chairman of BMPA (Belgian Music Publishers Association) puts it.
Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos, the Belgian Federation for Commerce and Services, is satisfied: "Businesses will no longer have to turn to various organisations to pay for their music use, but will be able to go to one place. The single platform implies a considerable administrative simplification for all businesses.”
“In the past, a business that played music received two invoices, which led to a lack of understanding and to confusion. This will end in 2020. NSZ hopes that a more efficient collection with lower costs will lead to a lower invoice for the businesses", said Christine Mattheeuws, chairman of NSZ (Belgian Neutral Syndicate for the Self-employed).
Fabian Hidalgo, coordinator of FACIR (French-speaking federation of authors, composers and performing artists): “FACIR welcomes the creation of this single platform, which is good news for the entire music production sector. More transparency and simplification will benefit all levels of the sector and guarantee a more efficient collection of royalties for the first links in the chain: the creative and performing artists."
PlayRight is the Belgian society for the collective management of neighbouring rights for performing artists. Founded in 1974 by musicians, the society also took care of the collective management of the neighbouring rights of actors, dancers and circus artists after a while. Today, PlayRight represents more than 15,000 directly affiliated performing artists, and tens of thousands more through its foreign sister societies. Its PlayRight+ department is committed to supporting performers and the sectors in which they operate through social, cultural and educational activities.
SIMIM (Société de l’Industrie Musicale - MuziekIndustrie Maatschappij) is the only Belgian society for the collective management of the neighbouring rights of music producers. SIMIM was founded on 21 June 1995 and currently has more than 1,800 directly affiliated members. It also has various reciprocal agreements with foreign management organisations. SIMIM strives to collect the royalties for music producers in the most effective and efficient way possible and to distribute them among the rightholders.
Sabam is the Belgian association for authors, composers and publishers. It manages the rights of more than 43,000 members in 5 domains: music, film & television, theatre & dance, visual arts and literature. In 2020, Sabam distributed more than € 112 million in copyright royalties. In addition, it supported more than 700 local cultural initiatives that same year, through Sabam for Culture. More than 200 employees in Brussels are working every day to defend the rights of authors. In 2022, Sabam will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
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