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SUISA on its centenary
In the early 1920s, music was played on music boxes and reproduced with mechanical music boxes. This gave rise to the creation of a collecting society, thanks to which composers have since received royalties for the use of their musical works.
Photo: Noë Flum
By Andreas Wegelin, CEO
Composers and musicians know it from their own experience. You write a new song, a new tune, and no sooner is it published than there are copycats of the successful tune. That is not a new phenomenon, it already happened in 1923, when the first collecting society was founded in Switzerland.

As early as 100 years ago, musicians had to face the fact that mechanical musical instruments played their songs wherever such a machine was located, and they could no longer perform live in those places to receive compensation for their creative work. That was the birth of MECHANLIZENZ. In line with the motto “Together we are strong”, well-known musical personalities from that time founded the first collecting society in Switzerland, from which SUISA emerged. They founded the company not to have these music machines banned, but to demand an appropriate return for the use of their music and to receive it thanks to the organisational impact of SUISA.

This year, we want to celebrate the anniversary in a fitting manner. A whole bouquet of surprises is planned for this. Some highlights from the anniversary book have already been published on the SUISAblog. The Swiss Post Office has issued a stamp, for the first time with music and dancing figures. In addition, a short film series is making our work known to a wider audience in a humorous way.

On the occasion of the anniversary, it is also time to say goodbye: Our print magazine SUISAinfo will be published for the last time. However, we will continue to provide you with the important information from the world of music and copyright management. To this end, we invite you to keep up to date even more on our online channels (currently our website, SUISAblog, Suisa Music Stories, Linkedin).

General Assembly and Anniversary Celebration

At the end of May, you received the documents for the General Meeting and the big anniversary celebration. Both take place on Friday, 23 June at the Aura Club in Zurich. Do not hesitate and attend these events; firstly so you can have your say on the future of SUISA as a company and secondly to celebrate an evening with music and surprises among members, staff and with invited guests.

Join us as we look back on a hundred years of success. We are sure that with your co-determination as members of SUISA, we will continue to cope with developments that need the Cooperative Society to act for the benefit of the creative people of this country. One example is the further expansion of music distribution via online channels, in the cloud. Or of extended usage possibilities by means of blockchain technology and of the independence and automation of music creation by means of artificial intelligence. Again and again, creators feel threatened by new technologies and SUISA is called upon to find ways in legislation and practice to ensure that even with new technologies for distribution, creators are always compensated for the re-exploitation or different ways of using their creative work. Just like 100 years ago.

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