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SUISA General Meeting: Emergency fund for authors and publishers approved

SUISAʼs General Meeting approved the emergency fund for composers, lyricists and publishers of music in the amount of CHF 1.5 million. In addition, Swiss yodeller, singer, composer and publisher Melanie Oesch was elected to the SUISA Board. For the first time in SUISAʼs history, the General Meeting was held in written form due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; interview with Melanie Oesch by Erika Weibel; video by Nina Müller

SUISAʼs General Meeting should have been held this year on 26 June at the Bierhübeli in Bern. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ban on events imposed in March, the SUISA Board decided in April to hold the General Meeting in written form. For the first time in the Cooperativeʼs history, SUISA members were able to vote and elect by post and, in the case of some members from abroad, by e-mail.

Covid-19: Emergency fund for authors and publishers

In addition to statutory business such as approving the annual accounts or granting the discharge to the SUISA Board and the auditing firm BDO, the emergency fund for authors and publishers was one of the most important items on the agenda of this yearʼs General Meeting. In view of the current precarious situation for music professionals, the SUISA Board decided on 6 April 2020 that SUISA should make additional funds available to cover losses in copyright royalties incurred by SUISA members due to the cancellation of events and closure of businesses ordered by the authorities. The fund of CHF 1.5 million is intended to compensate composers, lyricists and publishers of music who find themselves in distress as a result of the corona crisis for proven loss of SUISA-related income. The General Meetingapproved the relief fund by a large majority.

Michael Hug elected to the Distribution and Works Commission

In addition, two by-elections were held at this yearʼs General Assembly. To replace Grégoire Liechti, who was elected to the SUISA Executive Committee last year, music publisher Michael Hug was elected to the Distribution and Works Commission (VWK) for the current term of office until 2023.

Michael Hug is Managing Director of the Ruh Musik AG publishing house, founded in 1910. The publishing house is nationally and internationally renowned for the publication of wind music; the catalogue also includes numerous works of classical and choral music. Michael Hug and his wife took over the company from his father in 2009. He recognised the signs of the times early on and digitised his entire catalogue. In 2012, the foundation for music promotion of SUISA, the FONDATION SUISA, awarded him a prize for his digital distribution platform for sheet music; at the time, the jury particularly emphasised his innovative spirit and sustainable concept. Michael Hug is 55 years old and – like all his predecessors in the publishing house – is also musically active himself.

Melanie Oesch new on the SUISA Board of Directors

A by-election was also necessary for SUISAʼsBoard of Directors, following the unexpected death of Reto Parolari, conductor, composer and long-standing member of theBoard, in December 2019. The Swiss yodeller, singer, composer and publisher Melanie Oesch (Oeschʼs die Dritten) was newly elected to SUISAʼs Boardfor the current term of office until 2023.

Melanie Oesch is, as part of Oeschʼs die Dritten, one of the most successful representatives of traditional folklore music. Melanie Oesch is 33 years old and has been a member of SUISA since 2006.

In a video interview, she tells us what SUISA means to her: “SUISAʼs work is very important to me. I would never have the time to claim the money I am entitled to everywhere myself and I also lack the knowledge about it.” She particularly appreciates SUISAʼs expertise: “I am glad SUISA has so many professionals who have been working on this issue for years and who are committed to it”, says Melanie Oesch.

Melanie Oesch was very pleased and honoured by the question whether she would like to become a member of the Board. She would like to bring her experience as a folk musician to the Board: “In folk music there are many pieces which are very old. It is often not clear whether the composers are still alive and where [the pieces] are published.” The type of pieces in folk music is also special. “For example, a yodel doesnʼt have a classical text, and yet it has a kind of text,” explains the Bernese-born artist.

As a member of the Board, Melanie Oesch would like to change something about the disagreements between organisers and artists. According to her assessment, certain organisers feel disadvantaged because they are small and have the feeling of having to pay a lot anyway. She would like to improve mediation between SUISA and the organisers.

Altogether 1576 composers, text authors, music publishers and heirs participated in the written voting and electing process. An overview of the results of the SUISA General Meeting 2020 can be found at www.suisa.ch/generalmeeting

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SUISAʼs General Meeting approved the emergency fund for composers, lyricists and publishers of music in the amount of CHF 1.5 million. In addition, Swiss yodeller, singer, composer and publisher Melanie Oesch was elected to the SUISA Board. For the first time in SUISAʼs history, the General Meeting was held in written form due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year. Text by Giorgio Tebaldi; interview with Melanie Oesch by Erika Weibel; video by Nina Müller

SUISAʼs General Meeting should have been held this year on 26 June at the Bierhübeli in Bern. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ban on events imposed in March, the SUISA Board decided in April to hold the General Meeting in written form. For the first time in the Cooperativeʼs history, SUISA members were able to vote...read more

From forte to pianissimo in just a few beats

In 2019, SUISA recorded its best results in its 96-yrear history, with total revenues of CHF 171 million. Moreover, thanks to the excellent investment year in 2019, its investment performance also attained record heights. After deducting an average cost-coverage contribution of 13% from total royalty revenues of CHF 155.2 million, SUISA will be able to distribute CHF 135 million to rightholders in Switzerland and abroad. And yet, three months on, everything has changed. By Andreas Wegelin, CEO

From forte to pianissimo in just a few beats

Three months after SUISA’s gratifying 2019 financial statements, instruments in concert halls fell silent. (Photo: VTT Studio / Shutterstock.com)

No sooner had SUISA announced its best results in its 96-year history, than a general ban was imposed on all public events, and all venues were shut down in March 2020, triggering an unprecedented negative record: one after the other, concerts, shows and dance events were cancelled. Overnight, bookings were struck from musicians’ calendars. In concert venues, musical instruments fell silent.

This cannot fail to impact SUISA’s business. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, we are currently assuming that SUISA’s total revenues – and therefore the amount available for distribution – will fall by up to 25% by the end of 2020. Nobody can tell for sure today, much will depend on how the epidemic develops here and abroad, but a hefty recession seems imminent. It will take time to get back to normalcy, and we expect recovery to be no more than hesitant next year too.

In this crisis, SUISA is determined to prove itself a reliable partner both for music creators and music users. Appropriate measures have been put in place to support musicians, and an accommodating approach has been adopted towards customer payments. Meanwhile, new online forms of music performance are becoming more important as a source of royalties. Streaming may be the technology of the hour, but it only brings authors and music publishers a fraction of the revenues generated by live concerts.

“In this crisis, SUISA is determined to prove itself a reliable partner both for music creators and music users.”

SUISA has remained and remains active during the corona crisis. We are the hub for inquiries from members and customers. Although there are fewer events, we intend to maintain and even expand our services through automation. Unfortunately, the Board and the Executive Committee will not be able to welcome members personally to the General Meeting in Bern this year. To have a say in SUISA’s affairs, members will have to send in their vote by post. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity.

In any event, the employees at our three offices in Zurich, Lugano and Lausanne remain at your disposal. When work is slow, staff will be able to attend training courses; moreover, we are working full speed to develop online self-service services to give you more time to focus on your strengths. Making music, innovating, promoting. Despite the corona crisis, I wish you a challenging and productive summer.

SUISA matters: SUISAinfo 3.20, digital only
This autumn, the News for SUISA members will be sent by e-mail in digital format only. To contain costs in this difficult year, the hardcopy printed version will not be produced. SUISA provides regular news updates via www.suisa.ch, www.suisablog.ch, and SUISA Music Stories on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. (Manu Leuenberger)
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In 2019, SUISA recorded its best results in its 96-yrear history, with total revenues of CHF 171 million. Moreover, thanks to the excellent investment year in 2019, its investment performance also attained record heights. After deducting an average cost-coverage contribution of 13% from total royalty revenues of CHF 155.2 million, SUISA will be able to distribute CHF 135 million to rightholders in Switzerland and abroad. And yet, three months on, everything has changed. By Andreas Wegelin, CEO

From forte to pianissimo in just a few beats

Three months after SUISA’s gratifying 2019 financial statements, instruments in concert halls fell silent. (Photo: VTT Studio / Shutterstock.com)

No sooner had SUISA announced its best results in its 96-year history, than a general ban was imposed on all public events, and all venues were shut down in March 2020, triggering an unprecedented negative record: one...read more

No General Meeting 2020 – but voting by correspondence instead

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the General Meeting cannot take place in its usual form. However, members with voting rights may still have a say in the destiny of their SUISA Cooperative by casting their votes by letter. Text by Andreas Wegelin

No General Assembly 2020 – but voting by correspondence instead

By way of exception, SUISAʼs 2020 General Assembly (GA) will be held by letter: To participate in the vote, members entitled to vote shall return their completed voting form by post, which must reach SUISA by 26 June 2020. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

This yearʼs General Meeting, the annual highlight of social life at the SUISA Cooperative, should have taken place on Friday, 26 June 2020, at 11 a.m. at the Bierhübeli in Bern. However, this is not possible because of the corona pandemic, even if it is not yet known exactly when the ban on assembly will be relaxed for which size of events. In any case, the organisation of a general meeting requires a preparation time of about two months.

The Board therefore decided on 29 April 2020 that this yearʼs General Meeting can only be held by correspondence by way of exception. This decision is in conformity with the Federal Council guidelines in the Covid-19 Ordinance 2. In the sense of emergency law, the latter exceptionally permits running an GA in such a way, although the process of forming an opinion will be restricted due to the fact that there will be no “live” discussion at the GA.

1. Organisational execution

From 27 May 2020, all members with voting rights will receive an invitation by mail to participate in the postal vote on the resolutions of the General Meeting. The members entitled to vote have the opportunity to return the completed personalised voting form as soon as they receive the invitation. The letter with the voting form must reach SUISA by 26 June 2020.

The results of the votes are then counted by the election office headed by Dr. Bernhard Wittweiler (head of SUISAʼs Legal Department).

On 30 June 2020, the results of the vote and election will be formally established by the President, the Secretary (who will be in charge of the minutes), the CEO and the Head of the Legal Department on the basis of the count and published on the SUISA website on the same day.

The submitted voting documents are confidential and will be kept until the end of the period of appeal (two months after the resolution is passed, 31 August 2020) and then destroyed.

2. Agenda of the vote by correspondence instead of the 2020 GA

In addition to the usual statutory business – acceptance of the minutes, resolutions on the annual accounts, the management report and the annual report of the SUISA Cooperative and the SUISA Group – two seats on committees must also be filled.

2.1 By-election for the Board
Our long-standing board member Reto Parolari passed away suddenly and completely unexpectedly on 15 December 2019. The Board proposes to elect Melanie Oesch as successor to the Board.

Melanie Oesch grew up near Thun in the canton of Bern and attended the music high school in Thun. She appeared on stage for the first time at the age of five and inspired the audience with her unique tongue twisting. With her many ideas and plans, Melanie is, in many areas, the creative mind at Oeschʼs die Dritten.

Oesch’s die Dritten are a Swiss folk music group from the Bernese Oberland, consisting of Hansueli and Annemarie Oesch, their children Melanie, Kevin and Mike and accordionist Urs Meier. Their breakthrough in the German-speaking world came in 2007: Oeschʼs die Dritten won the young talent competition of the “Musikantenstadl” and since then have been a regular guest in various folk music programmes on television and at major folk music events. In October 2008, they won with the Ku-Ku yodel in the SRF-1 programme “The greatest Swiss hits”. Melanie Oesch revolutionises a certain form of yodelling and contributes to the spread of folk music through her musical activity. Among other things, she was an exceptional yodeler in Stefan Raabʼs “TV total”. Then there was the duet with Helene Fischer, in their Christmas show 2016, which convinced fans and non-fans alike. As an author, she has published two childrensʼ books together with the illustrator Christina Wald.

Melanie Oesch has been a member of SUISA as an author since 2006. The Oesch Music Verlag, which she heads, is also a member of SUISA. She is also a member of the “Phono Performers” expert committee at Swissperform.

2.2 By-election for the Distribution and Works Committee
At the last General Meeting, Grégoire Liechti was elected to SUISA’s Board of Directors. He therefore resigned from the Distribution and Works Committee. The Board proposes Michael Hug from the publishing category as replacement. He is the Managing Director of Ruh Musik AG and leads the family business, founded in 1910, in the 4th generation. Ruh Musik is nationally and internationally known for the publication of brass music; the catalogue also includes numerous works of classical and choral music. Ruh Musik is a sub-publisher for several renowned brass music publishers and has also expanded its catalogue in recent years to include publishers such as Edition Cron Lucerne and Belgano.

Michael Hug and his wife took over the company from his father in 2009. He recognised the signs of the times early on and digitised his entire catalogue. In 2012, he was awarded by the FONDATION SUISA as a publisher for his digital distribution platform for sheet music; the jury particularly praised his innovative spirit and sustainable concept.
Michael Hug is 55 years old and – like all his predecessors in the publishing house – is also musically active himself.

Even in times of crisis, shaping SUISAʼs future is important. For once, those members who would otherwise be prevented from attending the General Meeting may also participate in the written voting process. We hope that many will participate. Information on the General Assembly as well as documents and records can be found at: www.suisa.ch/en/members/general-assembly.html

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the General Meeting cannot take place in its usual form. However, members with voting rights may still have a say in the destiny of their SUISA Cooperative by casting their votes by letter. Text by Andreas Wegelin

No General Assembly 2020 – but voting by correspondence instead

By way of exception, SUISAʼs 2020 General Assembly (GA) will be held by letter: To participate in the vote, members entitled to vote shall return their completed voting form by post, which must reach SUISA by 26 June 2020. (Photo: Juerg Isler, isler-fotografie.ch)

This yearʼs General Meeting, the annual highlight of social life at the SUISA Cooperative, should have taken place on Friday, 26 June 2020, at 11 a.m. at the Bierhübeli in Bern. However, this is not possible because of the corona pandemic, even if it is not yet known exactly...read more

A Board Meeting focused on the coronavirus

To comply with coronavirus regulations, SUISA’s Board met for the first time by video conference on 28 and 29 April 2020. Board members were connected by sound and video from their respective home offices. After a short period of accustomation, the meeting proceeded apace without any significant communications problems. Even thorny issues were debated and decided in this way. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

A Board Meeting focused on the coronavirus

Based on our current state of knowledge, we expect a 25% drop in total budgeted revenues owing to event cancellations and business shutdowns in the wake of the restrictions ordered by the public authorities to contain the corona pandemic. (Photo: RomeoLu / Shutterstock.com)

The main items on the Board’s spring agenda are the approval of the annual financial statements, status report and business report and their referral to the General Meeting, as well as the preparation of the agenda for the General Meeting.

SUISA’s 2019 financial statements show highly satisfactory results. Royalty revenues totaled CHF 155.25m, a 3% increase over the prior year. As a result, after deducting costs, CHF 129.34m will be distributed to beneficiaries in Switzerland and abroad in 2020. Moreover, thanks to significant investment income, an additional 7% can be distributed on all settlements.

Written vote instead of a 2020 General Meeting

The Board decided that, by way of exception, the business on the agenda for this year’s General Meeting will be put to a written vote since there is no assurance that the meeting scheduled for 26 June at the Bierhübeli in Bern will effectively be able to take place. The documentation for voting by correspondence will be sent to members at the end of May.

Two by-elections to the Committees are also on General Meeting’s agenda – and will be held this time in writing: the Board proposes Michael Hug to succeed Grégoire Liechti in the Distribution and Works Committee. Melanie Oesch is the designated candidate to succeed the late Reto Parolari as Member of the Board.

Course of business during the corona crisis: the Board establishes a task force

Apart from the usual items on the agenda for the spring meeting, discussions in the Board focused on corona-related threats, or rather, on the consequences of business shutdowns and the ban on events. Meanwhile, it is known that no large concerts will take place until the end of August at least, and that smaller events will only be allowed under stringent health and security measures liable to impact audience size. It is quite conceivable that these restrictions will remain in force for a longer period.

Under the circumstances, we expect SUISA’s budget for revenues from concerts, events and music entertainment in the hospitality industry to be cut by half. This translates into a reduction of 25%, or CHF 38m, in SUISA’s total budgeted revenues. A more accurate forecast cannot yet be made given the lack of visibility until the end of the year. The Board has established a task force to examine, together with the Executive Committee, how the loss in revenue will impact the course of business, and to identify the necessary cost-cutting measures.

Developments in the online licensing market

Another important topic in the context of SUISA’s consolidated annual financial statements was the development of the online licensing market. For three years now, SUISA Digital Licensing has been licensing the rights of SUISA members not only in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, but throughout Europe – and even worldwide where the agreements so allow – through Mint Digital Services, SUISA’s joint venture with SESAC, the US rights’ management organisation.

By pooling repertoires, SUISA has become an important provider of services in this field with Mint. The two start-up companies Mint and SUISA Digital Licensing are not yet profitable. The Board has therefore instructed the Executive Committee to prepare and present a detailed evaluation of the break-even prospects, calculated under various scenarios.

The next meetings of the Board, to be held in video conferencing again, are scheduled for 25 May and 25 June 2020.

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  1. Yannick Popesco says:

    Bonjour étant membre de la Suisa et artiste actif je me pose une question importante.

    Y’a-t-il actuellement une lutte en cours pour le statut suisse d’intermittent du spectacle ?
    Quel est le statut légal de l’artiste pour l’instant ?

    Salutations,
    Yannick Popesco (artiste indépendant)

Leave a Reply

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To comply with coronavirus regulations, SUISA’s Board met for the first time by video conference on 28 and 29 April 2020. Board members were connected by sound and video from their respective home offices. After a short period of accustomation, the meeting proceeded apace without any significant communications problems. Even thorny issues were debated and decided in this way. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

A Board Meeting focused on the coronavirus

Based on our current state of knowledge, we expect a 25% drop in total budgeted revenues owing to event cancellations and business shutdowns in the wake of the restrictions ordered by the public authorities to contain the corona pandemic. (Photo: RomeoLu / Shutterstock.com)

The main items on the Board’s spring agenda are the approval of the annual financial statements, status report and business report and their referral...read more

Overall, a positive financial year 2018

The SUISA Board and its Committees for Tariffs and Distribution as well as for Organisation and Communication met for their regular spring sessions on 9 and 10 April 2019 at the SUISA head office in Zurich. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Overall, a positive financial year 2018

Apart from the Cooperative Society SUISA, there is now also a SUISA group, which includes the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing and the 50% holding in the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services AG. (Photo: Natalie Schlumpf)

The most important topic during the spring meeting are traditionally the resolutions concerning the financial statements of the past year for submission to the General Assembly. SUISA publishes two financial statements in accordance with the Standard Swiss GAAP FER from this year onwards, one for the parent company, the Cooperative Society SUISA, and one consolidated financial statement for the SUISA group. The group comprises the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing with headquarters in Vaduz (FL) and the 50% holding in the company Mint Digital Services AG, Zurich, a Joint Venture by SUISA and the American organisation for music rights, SESAC.

The annual financial statements of the group as well as of the parent company show an overall positive picture. Total collections reached a new high of CHF 160.8m. Income from the licensing of the online music business surpassed CHF 10m for the first time and contributed to this result.

Unfortunately, the secondary income was much lower last year. The reason for this is the bad investment year. Securities income only reached CHF 0.6m in 2018. In 2017, this amount still stood at CHF 3m. As a consequence, this difference now lacks in terms of covering expenditure for 2018. Nevertheless, cost coverage deductions taken from the settlements to members should not increase. The Board therefore decided to use more money from the liabilities that became available for the financing of the costs, and has subsequently reduced the supplementary distribution from 7% to 5%.

Preparations for the General Assembly

Additional topics were the preparation of other business for the General Assembly: the analysis of the organisation’s risks, the resulting management report and the approval of the entire annual report for submission to the GA. Lastly, nominations for two retiring Board members had to be decided upon, and documents relating to the investment policy and the compensation of Board members that had become necessary due to the new Articles of Association had to be resolved.

The Board took notice that Executive Committee was making efforts and got involved with the relevant departments to collect remuneration from abroad. In this context, it is important to take into consideration that the laws, tariffs and distribution rules are different at our sister societies and that SUISA cannot be held responsible for that. The Board therefore rejected the claim for a settlement of a member which held the view that it had not received enough remuneration for usages abroad.

Finally, the Board had to say farewell to executive assistant Dora Zeller, who is going to leave SUISA in order to retire. President Xavier Dayer expressed his thanks in the name of the entire Board for the turntable-like function that Dora Zeller had mastered with distinction throughout the last 10 years, and wished her well for the next, ‘third’ phase in her life.

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SUISA General Assembly: Our members’ opinion countsSUISA General Assembly: Our members’ opinion counts SUISA’s General Assembly takes place in the Kongresszentrum Biel (concert hall) on 21 June 2019. For the first time, two financial statements will be presented to the General Assembly; a novelty in SUISA’s history. Furthermore, there are elections on the agenda: The entire Board needs to be newly elected, as does the Distribution and Works Committee; there are also by-elections for the Complaints Committee. Read more
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The SUISA Board and its Committees for Tariffs and Distribution as well as for Organisation and Communication met for their regular spring sessions on 9 and 10 April 2019 at the SUISA head office in Zurich. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Overall, a positive financial year 2018

Apart from the Cooperative Society SUISA, there is now also a SUISA group, which includes the subsidiary company SUISA Digital Licensing and the 50% holding in the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services AG. (Photo: Natalie Schlumpf)

The most important topic during the spring meeting are traditionally the resolutions concerning the financial statements of the past year for submission to the General Assembly. SUISA publishes two financial statements in accordance with the Standard Swiss GAAP FER from this year onwards, one for the parent company, the Cooperative Society SUISA, and one...read more

SUISA General Assembly: Our members’ opinion counts

SUISA’s General Assembly takes place in the Kongresszentrum Biel (concert hall) on 21 June 2019. For the first time, two financial statements will be presented to the General Assembly; a novelty in SUISA’s history. Furthermore, there are elections on the agenda: The entire Board needs to be newly elected, as does the Distribution and Works Committee; there are also by-elections for the Complaints Committee. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2019: Our members’ opinion counts

Last year, voting members and guests gathered in Berne (see picture). The next General Assembly of SUISA takes place on Friday, 21 June 2019 in the concert hall of the Congress Centre in Biel. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

At the SUISA General Assembly 2019, the agenda item annual report includes, apart from the usual financial statements of the Cooperative Society for the year 2018, the consolidated financial statements for the SUISA group and will be presented to voting members for approval for the first time. The consolidated financial statements contain the annual accounts of the organisations which are directly or indirectly controlled by SUISA. They include SUISA Digital Licensing AG, based in Vaduz (FL) as well as the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services AG, where SUISA has 50% in holdings. Both sets of statements were examined by auditing firm BDO and recommended for approval.

Election of the Board

Of the 15 current members of the SUISA Board, 13 are standing for re-election for another term of office. Two previous members are going to leave the Board due to the limitation of the term of office: Marco Zanotta (Vice President) and Bertrand Liechti (President of the Board Committee for Finance and Controlling) have been contributing to SUISA’s developments for 20 years. Prior to their official farewell, they are going to look back on their time in the office and share their memories and some highlights with the audience.

The two nominees for the Board that have been proposed are intended to lower the average age of the Board: Grégoire Liechti, born in 1981, from Geneva, is intended to replace Bertrand Liechti; Sylvie Reinhard, entrepreneur, born in 1980, shall supersede Marco Zanotta. While Grégoire Liechti brings long-term national and international experience in the publishing business to the table, Sylvie Reinhard complements the Board’s skills and knowledge in the digital innovation and culture sector.

Other election business

The Distribution and Works Committee is made up of a maximum of 22 members; 21 are standing for re-election. Grégoire Liechti, member since 2015, stood down from the Committee and is running for a Board position. Regarding the by-elections the nominations committee is going to provide information on the seat that is going to become vacant via the usual publication channels for the GA 2020 and ask the relevant associations of music authors and publishers for a pre-selection.

At the GA 2018, the seat reserved for the second expert remained vacant in the newly created Complaints Committee. The Board is now tabling the motion in the General Assembly to elect Marco Zanotta as an external member into the Complaints Committee. He is neither an associate nor a member of SUISA.

Compensation and investment policy

The Articles of Association which had been revised at the last General Assembly and have been in force since 01 January 2019 provide the General Assembly with new powers. It is responsible for the compensation and other benefits to the President and the Board members and also for the overall investment policy. To this end, the Board is going to present the compensation regulations in force since 2009 and has worked out the general provisions regarding the investment policy and asks for its approval.

Finally, the SUISA GA provides an opportunity once more for members to exchange experience with other members and with guests from politics, culture, associations etc. and to hold conversations with SUISA staff. Use these opportunities for participating in decision-making and exchange and we look forward to a high turnout on Friday, 21 June 2019, in Biel.

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SUISA’s General Assembly takes place in the Kongresszentrum Biel (concert hall) on 21 June 2019. For the first time, two financial statements will be presented to the General Assembly; a novelty in SUISA’s history. Furthermore, there are elections on the agenda: The entire Board needs to be newly elected, as does the Distribution and Works Committee; there are also by-elections for the Complaints Committee. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2019: Our members’ opinion counts

Last year, voting members and guests gathered in Berne (see picture). The next General Assembly of SUISA takes place on Friday, 21 June 2019 in the concert hall of the Congress Centre in Biel. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

At the SUISA General Assembly 2019, the agenda item annual report includes, apart from the usual financial statements of the Cooperative Society for the year 2018, the consolidated...read more

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly takes place on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. It will be opened with a music performance by the ad hoc formation Swiss Ländlermix in line with the theme; “Folk music – Switzerland crossways”. Important business items on the agenda are the review of the Articles of Association, the new Complaints Committee and an election of a substitute for the Distribution and Works Committee. Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer, President of Swissperform will attend as guest speaker. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

Up to 19 June, members who are eligible to vote can register for SUISA’s General Assembly, which is to be held on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s General Assembly 2018 is determined by the review of the Articles of Association. The music business is changing: increased competition levels, new technologies, international networks, tougher regulations. SUISA wants and has to keep up with the developments and create a base for the successful advancement of the cooperative society.

Changes to the Articles of Association are therefore going to be proposed to the General Assembly. By way of the proposed amendments, SUISA’s Articles of Association will be brought in line with the Act on Collective Management Organisations (CMO Act) of Liechtenstein which has been ratified in March 2018, and thus with the European Directive on the Collective Management of Copyright.

Strengthening members’ rights and online business

The EU Directive which has in the meantime been implemented into national law in Liechtenstein, contains provisions which entail a strengthening of members’ rights. Apart from rules on transparency and for supervision of the collective management organisations, a significant point covers the making available of a complaint procedure for members. SUISA intends to create a Complaints Committee with well-versed persons from the music sector and legally adept experts. It will suggest committee members for election.

Apart from the above, it is necessary to adapt the Articles of Association to the EU Directive in order to continue to be able to licence online exploitations at cross-border level in the European Union. SUISA has been licensing music of SUISA members at pan-European level since 2013 in the online sector, partially even far beyond Europe’s borders.

Pursuant to the EU Directive, collective management organisations must meet certain standards in order to be able to carry out cross-border licensing. By way of revising the Articles of Association, the conditions will be met that SUISA can directly negotiate with and collect from online providers such as iTunes or Spotify regarding exploitations outside Switzerland and Liechtenstein, too. The online business is a focus of SUISA’s strategy for the immediate future. For this purpose, Mint Digital Services were founded together with SESAC (USA).

Statutory business

It features on the agenda each year: statutory business. The annual report, management report, financial statements, profit and loss accounts, cash flow statements, the annex to the annual accounts as well as the auditors’ report will be submitted to the General Assembly for approval. After that, the Board’s and the auditors’ activities are ratified, and an election determining the auditors for the current financial year takes place.

As usual, there will be an interim report on the current financial year. Management will report on the financial development in the first semester. Furthermore, those in charge of FONDATION SUISA will provide an overview of the activities of the foundation in 2017 at this year’s General Assembly.

Elections and guests

Natalie Riede will be proposed to the General Assembly for election into the Distribution and Works Committee as a substitute for Guido Röösli who is stepping down. She represents the Electronica sector, runs her own publishing company and has strong roots in the club scene.

There are multiple opportunities at the General Assembly to enter into conversation with many invited guests, e.g. representatives of music user associations, institutions or copyright experts. SUISA was able to secure a guest presentation by Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer. She is the President of Swissperform, the collective management organisation for neighbouring rights in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

How to get there / Catering

We recommend that participants take public transport to get to the Bierhübeli. The bus from Bern train station stops directly outside the event location. There are no parking spaces available. The Park & Ride car park Neufeld is within 10 minutes walking distance from the Bierhübeli. Coffee and Gipfeli will be offered prior to the General Assembly. After the assembly, a buffet lunch will be available.

SUISA Annual Report 2017On 24. May 2018, SUISA’s 2017 annual report has been published. It is available online or can be ordered as a printed version at: www.suisa.ch/annualreport
The turnover in 2017 is very positive. The results of CHF 139.2m from rights management in Switzerland is 2% above the 2016 results. SUISA can thus distribute a record amount to rights owners who are entitled to receive a payment. Continue reading in the media release (PDF)
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SUISA settlement dates 2018 – and one improvementSUISA settlement dates 2018 – and one improvement SUISA shall stick to its established settlement dates in 2018. They comprise, in the main, four quarterly settlements as well as various supplementary settlements spread across the coming year in analogy to the previous year. From the 2nd semester of 2018 onwards, settlements of international collections shall be switched over to a quarterly distribution frequency. Read more
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SUISA’s ordinary General Assembly takes place on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. It will be opened with a music performance by the ad hoc formation Swiss Ländlermix in line with the theme; “Folk music – Switzerland crossways”. Important business items on the agenda are the review of the Articles of Association, the new Complaints Committee and an election of a substitute for the Distribution and Works Committee. Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer, President of Swissperform will attend as guest speaker. Text by Dora Zeller

SUISA General Assembly 2018: Your opinion counts!

Up to 19 June, members who are eligible to vote can register for SUISA’s General Assembly, which is to be held on 22 June 2018 in the Bierhübeli in Bern. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

SUISA’s General Assembly 2018 is determined by the review of the Articles of Association. The music...read more

Commentary on SUISA’s annual results for 2016

SUISA can report a very successful financial year 2016. The result reflects an all-time high regarding the income from domestic copyright exploitation. In the Cooperative Society’s history of more than 90 years, this is a record sum in terms of remuneration that is due for distribution. The average cost coverage deduction remains low – about CHF 88 per CHF 100 of the income collected can be paid out to authors and publishers that are entitled to receive such remuneration. Text by Andreas Wegelin

Commentary on SUISA’s annual results for 2016

SUISA is going to pay authors and publishers remuneration totalling CHF 128.9m for financial year 2016. That is the highest ever distributable amount in the Cooperative Society’s history which spans more than 90 years. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The best business yield achieved by SUISA previously, in 2008, has thus been topped by the results of 2016. The income from the usage of copyright in musical works in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein have never reached such high levels before. As a consequence, more than CHF 128m can be paid out to domestic and international authors and publishers entitled to receive such remuneration. That is the highest amount in our Cooperative Society’s history which spans more than 90 years.

Several reasons contributed to this record result. Broadcast and retransmission rights’ collections, in particular, (Tariff CT S, broadcasters except SRG, CT Y, pay TV, and CT 1 & 2), and the time-shift usage of broadcasts (Tariff CT 12, rental of set-top-boxes) could be increased. The licensing of music performing rights, in particular for concerts (Tariff CT K) and film screenings(Tariff CT E, cinemas) also saw a sustained increase.

Regarding the licences for the distribution of music recordings, the trend continues to move away from physical sound recordings towards online exploitation. Regarding online music exploitation, downloads are increasingly replaced by streaming. Remuneration for private copying, regarding Tariff CT 4, has also grown. The latter can be attributed to the expansion of the storage capacity of devices (smartphones, tablets).

Cost coverage deductions remain low

While the costs for rights management have slightly increased, the proportion of this increase compared to the income remains low. The result is that the applicable cost deductions for settlements to rightsholders entitled to receive a payment are a very reasonable 12.37%. About CHF 88 per CHF 100 will therefore be paid out by SUISA to authors and publishers.

Furthermore, there will be a supplementary distribution on top of all regular settlements, at a level of currently 7%. This consists of monies for which the parties entitled to receive a payment could not be traced. After a period of 5 years, such income will be paid out by SUISA as a supplementary distribution on top of all settlements.

Successful negotiations – still a lot of work to do for SUISA

Such positive annual results are a proof of successful negotiations for tariffs and terms and conditions of use, and of reliable customers and business partners. It also shows that music exploitation is on the rise and SUISA can negotiate and enforce licences for music in relation to new technologies accordingly.

Particularly with regards to internet usage, there is still a lot of work to do. SUISA is increasingly managing online rights for cross-border usage directly. This sector is expected to turn into an important pillar of our work for our members.

Further information:
«SUISA 2016 results: CHF 128.9 million for authors and publishers», Press release, 30 May 2017

SUISA’s annual report 2016 is available as pdf for download. For the third year running, the annual report is published together with the brochure “Where the music is new”. It contains portraits of five SUISA members from different music genres. SUISA focusses on musical diversity. A collective management organisation is putting itself at the service of its members and thus promotes and supports music creatives such as the five personalities portrayed in the brochure. The brochure “Where the music is new” can also be downloaded as a pdf. It is also possible to order printed versions of the brochure and the annual report.
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SUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overviewSUISA settlement dates 2017 – an overview SUISA members whose works are performed, broadcast, reproduced or used online a lot can look forward to receiving remuneration at least four times per year for their work on lyrics or compositions or their publishing activities. In 2017, SUISA will continue with its quarterly distributions that it had successfully introduced previously. Minor modifications serve the purpose of distributing the income swiftly and cost-effectively. Read more

 

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SUISA can report a very successful financial year 2016. The result reflects an all-time high regarding the income from domestic copyright exploitation. In the Cooperative Society’s history of more than 90 years, this is a record sum in terms of remuneration that is due for distribution. The average cost coverage deduction remains low – about CHF 88 per CHF 100 of the income collected can be paid out to authors and publishers that are entitled to receive such remuneration. Text by Andreas Wegelin

Commentary on SUISA’s annual results for 2016

SUISA is going to pay authors and publishers remuneration totalling CHF 128.9m for financial year 2016. That is the highest ever distributable amount in the Cooperative Society’s history which spans more than 90 years. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

The best business yield achieved by SUISA previously, in 2008, has thus been...read more

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

217 composers, lyricists and publishers of music have taken part in the SUISA General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne in order to execute their right of co-determination on their cooperative. In addition to the guest speech by SRG Director General Roger de Weck, the foundation award ceremony and the composer in residence allocation of the FONDATION SUISA, the amendment of the Pension Fund Regulations was the central issue.

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

In the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, approximately 280 members and guests gathered for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

That’s how co-determination works: The ballots had already been counted in the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, when one SUISA member demanded a repetition of the vote. Many people in the auditorium had apparently not been aware whether the yes or no votes were counted in relation to the revised pension regulations. The vote was therefore repeated without further ado.

Members decide on their cooperative

That’s how a cooperative works: SUISA, the Cooperative Society of music authors and publishers belongs to its members. And they decide in the General Assembly whether the annual report for the previous year will be ratified, which auditing company will be in charge of SUISA’s audit, whether the SUISA Board will be granted a formal approval of its actions – or, as in this case, whether the revised version of the Pension Fund Regulations will be approved.

New Pension Fund Regulations from 2017

Members entitled to vote have finally approved the revised version of the regulations. The new Pension Fund Regulations are more modern and have been adapted to reflect today’s legislation. The most important change affects future changes to the regulations. What’s new is that the foundation board, i.e. the SUISA Board will now be responsible for this.

Guest speech and awards by the FONDATION SUISA

In his guest speech, Roger de Weck, Director General of SRG, told SUISA members and guests among other things how important the collaboration between SRG, SUISA and the artists for the promotion of creating music in Switzerland was.

Music promotion in Switzerland is also supported by the work of the FONDATION SUISA, the music promotion foundation by SUISA. Urs Schnell, the Director of the foundation, honoured the winner of this year’s foundation award, Franz “Fränggi” Gehrig in his speech. The award, valued at CHF 25,000, had the category “new, current Swiss traditional folk music” this year. As Fränggi Gehrig could not take part in the General Assembly, the official award ceremony will be held at the “Stubete am See”, the Zurich festival for new Swiss folk music.

FONDATION SUISA also honoured the Basel pop musician James Gruntz. He received the composer in residence allocation from the foundation. It is worth CHF 80,000 and enables the young artist to work undisturbed and financially independent on his music.

The SUISA General Assembly 2017 takes place on Friday, 23 June 2017, 11.00, in the Kaufleuten in Zurich.
Deadline for motions for the General Assembly: Pursuant to item 9.2.4 of the Articles of Association, SUISA members may submit items for negotiation and applications for the ordinary General Assembly until 20 January of the same year in writing. Such demands have to be supported by at least 50 members and submitted in writing, and mention a representative who is entitled to withdraw or amend the motion.
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217 composers, lyricists and publishers of music have taken part in the SUISA General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne in order to execute their right of co-determination on their cooperative. In addition to the guest speech by SRG Director General Roger de Weck, the foundation award ceremony and the composer in residence allocation of the FONDATION SUISA, the amendment of the Pension Fund Regulations was the central issue.

General Assembly 2016 of the Cooperative Society SUISA in the Paul Klee Centre

In the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, approximately 280 members and guests gathered for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

That’s how co-determination works: The ballots had already been counted in the auditorium of the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, when one SUISA member demanded a repetition of the vote. Many people in the auditorium had apparently not been...read more

Sustainable growth for members

Cooperative societies excel by their solid economic activities. This is also true for SUISA. The cooperative society for composers, lyricists and publishers of music has slightly increased its income in 2015. SUISA pays out approx. 88% of its income to the rightsholders. That’s a total of CHF 125m. The cooperative society thus makes a substantial contribution to the financial livelihood of its members. Below is an analysis of the annual result. Text by Andreas Wegelin, CEO

Composers and lyricists don’t always perform on a stage. This is why it is even more important for them that they receive their copyright royalties from their cooperative society. (Photo: Dreadek / Shutterstock.com)

SUISA has published its annual results for 2015, and the numbers are good news: The cooperative society for authors and publishers of music could slightly increase its collections in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Thanks to the continued large demand for music in this country, SUISA collected CHF 132.7m in these territories. Together with the income generated by usage of the SUISA repertoire abroad, the net amount for the exploitation of copyright was a total of CHF 142.7m.

Important income for composers, lyricists and publishers

Approx. 88% of the income collected by SUISA is distributed to rights holders. That’s CHF 125m that are being paid out to the creators of music. Such income is especially important for composers, lyricists and publishers. Many authors don’t perform on stage and therefore don’t receive fees or shares in the income generated from merchandise. The remuneration yielded via the collective management of the exploitation of works composed or lyrics written by these authors are a part of their income.

Cooperative societies run their operations sustainably in the interest of their members

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, SUISA is tasked with this duty as the cooperative society of its members. Cooperative societies are mainly self-help organisations of the members. They do not undertake speculative financial transactions or try to yield the highest possible wins for shareholders. Instead, they work in the interest of their cooperative members. In the case of SUISA, these are the music authors and publishers. As the year end for 2015 shows, SUISA is on the right track: The cooperative society’s income has continuously increased over the last three years. The main drivers of this positive development have been concerts and digital TV in particular.

Concerts are flourishing

The biggest increase during 2015 has been thanks to continuously flourishing concert and festival activities in Switzerland. Approx. CHF 20.3m have been collected by SUISA by means of copyright licence fees from the concert tariffs CT Ka and CT Kb in the last year; in 2014, the respective sum was CHF 18.7m. These two concert tariffs thus make up nearly half of the total income for performing rights. Last year, CHF 46m were collected in total for performing rights (compared to CHF 44.1m in the previous year). A main influence on the increased collections last year were some disputes which could be resolved and therefore led to a retroactive payment of licence fees.

Digital TV continues to grow

The income from broadcasting rights slightly increased from CHF 64m to CHF 64.6m last year. The increase stems from higher income for TV advertising windows on the one hand; On the other hand, the increasing popularity of digital TV has a positive effect for authors and publishers: Both the dissemination of broadcasts via cable as well as the rental of set top boxes and therefore the possibility to enjoy time-shift television led to higher collections in 2015.

Online flop, sound recordings top?

SUISA’s annual results for 2015 in the sectors online and sound recordings, however, do not correspond with current developments at all. The trend in the market clearly shows: More and more music is being used via internet and especially by means of streaming, whereas the public has been buying less and less sound recordings for years. Nevertheless, the SUISA collections for sound recordings have risen slightly last year, while the results for the online sector exhibited a falling trend. Special case Switzerland? No.

In the case of the collections yielded for sound recordings, a major production of one single customer was the reason for the plus compared to the previous year. The drop in online income in 2015 is due to the invoicing procedures. Due to the rapidly increasing data volume that SUISA has to process for streaming exploitation, the distribution procedures for online income had to be re-engineered. As a consequence, some streaming operators’ income from last year could not be invoiced before January 2016. Irrespective of this seasonal time shift in terms of invoicing, it also has to be mentioned in the context of online collections that further efforts are needed to negotiate fair payments for authors and the dissemination of their music on the internet.

“The remuneration collected from the most used gratuitous channel YouTube is too low for authors and has to be given a special mention from a point of negative impact.”

In the course of its second quarter distribution in June 2016, SUISA is going to distribute income from online business to rightsholders. The distributable amount, however, will remain at a low level just like in the previous year. One reason for this are illegal offers and gratuitous services which are financed by advertising. They compete with the legal fee-based offers by e.g. Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and others.

The remuneration collected from the most used gratuitous channel YouTube is too low for authors and has to be given a special mention from a point of negative impact. The licence fees collected from online providers continue to remain an important subject for SUISA in 2016: Composers, lyricists and publishers of music must receive a fairer payment for the exploitation of their works via downloads and especially streaming.

Keep admin costs low

Another important (ongoing) subject are the costs. SUISA is doing well in that regard: The admin costs were 2.5% lower in 2015 at CHF 27.4m compared to the previous year (CHF 28.1m). SUISA thus confirms the results of a cost analysis that had been carried out on behalf of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) at the five Swiss collective management organisations. The result of the analysis showed: The Swiss collective management organisations work economically and their costs are adequate.

For SUISA members, this means: You can count on the fact in future that your cooperative society will run sustainable operations in order to provide a substantial contribution to your livelihood.

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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Cooperative societies excel by their solid economic activities. This is also true for SUISA. The cooperative society for composers, lyricists and publishers of music has slightly increased its income in 2015. SUISA pays out approx. 88% of its income to the rightsholders. That’s a total of CHF 125m. The cooperative society thus makes a substantial contribution to the financial livelihood of its members. Below is an analysis of the annual result. Text by Andreas Wegelin, CEO

Composers and lyricists don’t always perform on a stage. This is why it is even more important for them that they receive their copyright royalties from their cooperative society. (Photo: Dreadek / Shutterstock.com)

SUISA has published its annual results for 2015, and the numbers are good news: The cooperative society for authors and publishers of music could slightly...read more