Multi Billion Rand deal to make Jerusalema hit maker Master KG South Africa's richest musician

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TikTok has announced a multi-year licensing agreement which covers 58 territories across the African continent.

The deal will see South African songwriters, composers, and music publishers paid royalties when their music is used on the video-sharing social networking service.

TikTok is estimated to have more than six million users in South Africa, according to the 2020 SA Social Media Landscape report. The popular app has racked up more than two billion global downloads since its release in 2016, outpacing Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

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The platform allows users to upload and share short-form videos – usually limited to 15 seconds – which are accompanied snippets of popular music.

Jerusalema, a song produced by local hitmaker Master KG, became a TikTok sensation in 2020. The #Jerusalema dance challenge spawned videos which were viewed over a billion times and helped Master KG reach chart-topping positions in Belgium and Switzerland.

Following Jerusalema’s success and TikTok’s ever-expanding international reach, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) and Composers Authors and Publishers Association (Capasso) reached a licensing deal with the company.

The multi-year licensing agreement will see registered musicians receiving royalties via Capasso, which has more than 7,000 members.

“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,” says Wiseman Ngubo, Capasso’s chief operations officer.

“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.”

Although Capasso and Samro are two distinct entities, they license 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 R100 for artists and R250 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,” Ngubo told Business Insider South Africa about the size of royalties artists are due to receive.

“This means, in essence, royalties are determined by one’s market share, as determined by usage, in each period.”

The licensing deal with Capasso and Capasso in Africa comes after TikTok signed an “expanded” global licensing agreement with Universal Music Group in February. Sony Music and Warner Music Group entered into similar licensing agreements with TikTok in November and December, respectively.

– Business insider


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