How much copyright remuneration does a concert organiser have to pay?

This is a question that many ask: How much is the copyright fee for concerts? The reply is of interest to both customers and members of SUISA: Concert organisers plan copyright remuneration in their favour into the budgets for their events. SUISA members can calculate their income up front once they know the rules of thumb for the concert remuneration. Text by Chantal Bolzern

How much copyright remuneration does a concert organiser have to pay?

Concert event in the Zurich Hallenstadion: With a capacity from 1,000 people upwards or ticket sales of more than CHF 15,000 gross, the tariff for major concerts applies. (Photo: Marcel Grubenmann)

How much a concert organiser has to pay in terms of copyright remuneration depends on different factors: The size of the concert, number of concerts held per year, association membership, potential rebates etc. An exact amount cannot be predicted in detail without any individual information being provided first. There are, however, some rules of thumb depending on the size of the event.

Small concerts

A concert event is considered to be a small concert and is licensed on the basis of the Common Tariff Kb (CT Kb) as long as the capacity of the club or the area is no more than 999 people and no more than CHF 15,000 ticket sales gross.

For such small concerts, the organiser should budget 9.5% of the ticket sales as the maximum for the copyright remuneration to be invoiced by SUISA. The percentage goes down to 3.5% if more than half of the music played during the concert stems from composers who have been dead for more than 70 years or are not affiliated with any collective management organisation.

The organiser may also benefit from a volume discount if it has entered into an agreement with SUISA. The volume discount can range from 5% to 20% if the event organiser has carried out more than 10 concerts in the previous year. Furthermore, it receives an additional rebate of 10% if it belongs to an association of concert organisers such as SMPA or PETZI.

All in all, an organiser may thus get up to 30% discount if it fulfils all of the contractual provisions. This means specifically that the licence rate for small concerts can be reduced from 9.5% to 6.65%. Finally, a concert organiser has the right to be subject to a 2% cash discount if it has paid the last SUISA invoice within 10 days.

Small concert – simplified calculation example

Concert in a club – 400 people capacity – 350 sold tickets @ CHF 23.00.

Ticket income 350 x CHF 23.00 CHF 8,050.00
Licence base 6.65%, maximum discount (30%) CHF 535.30
– 2% discount (of CHF 535.30) CHF 10.70
= Copyright remuneration CHF 524.60

Major concerts

If organisers carry out a major concert, the licence fee will be calculated based on Common Tariff Ka (CT Ka). Major concerts are considered to be concerts in venues or on areas with a minimum capacity of 1,000 people or for which the organiser has achieved ticket sales of more than CHF 15,000 gross.

In such cases, the organiser should budget a maximum of 10% of the gross income from ticket sales for the copyright remuneration to be invoiced by SUISA. The organiser of a major concert can – as long as it provides all relevant receipts – claim certain deductions from the gross income; for example, any train tickets included in the ticket price, access to the camping grounds and similar expenditure. It can also deduct a lump sum of 10% for pre-sales office costs.

The major concert organiser may also benefit from various rebates as long as it has entered into an agreement with SUISA and sticks to the conditions. It shall receive a volume discount between 5% and 10% if it had organised more than 10 concerts in the previous year. Depending on the capacity of the event venue, the rebate may range from 5% to 15%. Just like with small concerts, there is also a 10% association rebate for major concerts.

As a consequence, organisers of major concerts can benefit of a discount of up to 35% which means that the licence rate can go down from 10% to 6.5%. The 2% discount is also applicable to major concerts if the organiser has paid the last SUISA invoice within 10 days.

Major concert – simplified calculation example

Open Air concert – 11,000 people capacity – 9,985 sold tickets @ CHF 110.00.

Ticket income 9,985 x CHF 110.00 CHF 1,098,350.00
– 10% cost external pre-sales office (CT Ka item 29) CHF 109,835.00
– cost for the public transport in the ticket (CT Ka item 11) CHF 29,995.00
= subtotal CHF 958,520.00
Licence basis 6.5%, maximum discount (35%) CHF 62,303.80
– 2% discount (of CHF 62,303.80) CHF 1,246.10
= Copyright remuneration CHF 61,057.70

Additional remuneration for interval music

The following shall apply to small concerts and major concerts alike: Should music recordings be played during the concerts e.g. as interval music, the organiser will have to pay a remuneration for neighbouring rights. Information on this is available within tariffs CT Ka and CT Kb as well as on Swissperform’s website.

Additional information: tariffs, fact sheets, forms etc.

  1. Comment cela se passe-t-il si l’on joue mes compositions, que je dirige?
    Merci pour votre réponse.
    Monique Buunk (Nom d’auteur: Monique Droz)

    • Manu Leuenberger says:

      Chère Madame,

      Merci pour votre commentaire. Lorsque des oeuvres sont exécutées en public, des droits d’auteur sont dus, quelque soit l’interprète ou la personne dirigeant l’exécution. C’est l’organisateur d’un concert qui est en charge des droits d’auteur. Il peut arriver que l’auteur soit organisateur de son propre concert. Dans ce cas, des règles particulières s’appliquent. Pour plus d’informations, nous vous invitons à contacter directement notre service clientèle.

      Meilleures salutations
      Manu Leuenberger, SUISA Communication

  2. Frédéric says:

    Vous n’avez rien indiqué pour le cas où le concert porte uniquement sur de la musique non protégée (typiquement musique classique); dans un tel cas, la redevance est logiquement nulle ?

    • Manu Leuenberger says:

      Bonjour Frédéric,
      Merci beaucoup pour le commentaire.
      SUISA n’établit des factures que pour la musique pour laquelle elle représente les droits. Si par exemple, dans un cas donné, tous les compositeurs et arrangeurs sont décédés depuis plus de 70 ans, SUISA n’enverra pas de facture.
      Le genre de musique ne dit rien sur la question de savoir si la musique est encore protégée ou non. Dans la musique classique, de nombreuses œuvres arrangées sont jouées, et l’arrangeur en question est peut-être encore vivant. Dans ces conditions, l’organisateur doit après chaque concert envoyer à SUISA la liste des œuvres exécutées avec des indications sur les compositeurs et les arrangeurs (si certaines œuvres jouées n’étaient pas des œuvres originales). SUISA examine si elle représente les droits ou non.
      Les détails concernant les tarifs peuvent être trouvés dans les textes des tarifs ou demandés à la Division Clients de SUISA.
      Manu Leuenberger, Communication SUISA

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