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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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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

SUISA General Assembly 2016: Music meets painting

SUISA’s 2016 General Assembly takes place on Friday morning, 24th June 2016 in the Paul Klee Centre in Berne. With its 4,000 works, the centre holds the most important collection of paintings, water colours and drawings by Paul Klee worldwide. Participants of the General Assembly get free access to the museum after the event. Text by Dora Zeller

Stéphanie Joseph (violin), Anne Gillot (bass clarinet), Jocelyne Rudasigwa (double bass), Ignacio Lamas (guitar) and Jean-Samuel Racine (clarinet) of Boulouris 5 are going to provide the musical overture for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Mercedes Riedi)

The General Assembly 2016 is opened by Boulouris 5. The ensemble consists of one violin, a guitar, a clarinet, a double bass and a bass clarinet, played by five musicians trained in classical music and jazz. They are looking forward to enchant the attending SUISA members with their music and to take them away to an emotionally charged world of sound for a few minutes.

Statutory business: 2015 review

It is not just the financial statements, profit and loss accounts, auditors’ report and annual report due for approval by the General Assembly. What’s new is that the management report, the cash flow statement as well as the annex to the annual accounts 2015 are now also subject to the members’ votes. This is due to the accounting standards that have come into force this year (Swiss GAAP FER).

Current business year: Outlook

SUISA could, once again, report positive financial results last year. By the time of the General Assembly, the first half of business year 2016 will have passed. An interim report is intended to show how the numbers have been developing in the current year.

Pension fund for SUISA authors and publishers

The Board recommends a revision of the pension regulations to be submitted for approval. The current regulations no longer correspond to all requirements in practice and some wordings need to be defined further. There are no plans to change anything in relation to the benefits for the covered authors and publishers though. The revision is intended to provide contemporary regulations which are adapted to today’s legislation.

Guest speaker: Roger de Weck

Roger de Weck is the Director General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG), the biggest user of works protected by copyright in Switzerland. It acquires the relevant usage rights mainly via collective management organisations. It is thus SUISA’s financially most important customer. Under the mandate of the public service, SRG has the mission to provide the Swiss public with radio and TV programmes ensuring plurality of opinion. What this means in real terms and where its challenges lie will be explained by Roger de Weck in his guest speech.

FONDATION SUISA

The FONDATION is a non-profit foundation and obtains its financial means via an annual allocation of 2.5% of SUISA collections from performing and broadcasting rights in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. During the General Assembly, an overview of the activities of SUISA’s foundation for the promotion of music will be given. This includes the announcement on the recipient of the FONDATION SUISA 2016 prize, carrying a value of CHF 25,000.

SUISA members who are entitled to vote may register online for the SUISA General Assembly 2016 at: www.suisa.ch/generalversammlung

We look forward to welcoming you in Berne.

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SUISA’s 2016 General Assembly takes place on Friday morning, 24th June 2016 in the Paul Klee Centre in Berne. With its 4,000 works, the centre holds the most important collection of paintings, water colours and drawings by Paul Klee worldwide. Participants of the General Assembly get free access to the museum after the event. Text by Dora Zeller

Stéphanie Joseph (violin), Anne Gillot (bass clarinet), Jocelyne Rudasigwa (double bass), Ignacio Lamas (guitar) and Jean-Samuel Racine (clarinet) of Boulouris 5 are going to provide the musical overture for SUISA’s General Assembly 2016. (Photo: Mercedes Riedi)

The General Assembly 2016 is opened by Boulouris 5. The ensemble consists of one violin, a guitar, a clarinet, a double bass and a bass clarinet, played by five musicians trained in classical music and jazz. They are looking...read more

Supplementary distribution of 7 percent in 2016

Important topics during the SUISA Board meeting in April included the annual accounts, the annual report and the preparation of the General Assembly, which is going to take place on Friday, 24 June 2016 in Berne. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

More money was available for authors and publishers due to a new record level reached for domestic collections in business year 2015, and due to another supplementary distribution of 7% on all payouts in 2016 as decided by the SUISA Board. (Photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com)

The SUISA Board focussed on the annual accounts 2015 at its April meeting. For the first time, the accounts will be presented in line with the new accounting standards (Swiss GAAP FER). Apart from the financial statements and the profit and loss accounts, it includes the management report, cash flow statement and the annex to the annual accounts.

The Board members have approved all documents and recommend that the members entitled to vote should accept the annual accounts 2015 during the General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne. Said recommendation also extends to the auditors’ report by BDO and the annual report.

Domestic record collections for a distribution to authors

Domestic collections from the exploitation of copyright reached new record levels at CHF 134.6m (previous year: CHF 130.3m). Together with other income from the online sector and from abroad, the total collections thus increased by nearly 1%. Approximately 88 of every 100 francs collected are allocated to composers, lyricists and publishers whose rights are managed by SUISA.

The Board also decided to run another supplementary distribution. Just like in the previous year, it will amount to 7% on all regular distributions in 2016. Members of SUISA as well as members of SUISA’s sister societies are going to benefit from this additional payout.

General Assembly 2016 and annual report

In line with the preparations for the General Assembly on 24 June 2016 in Berne, the Board has verified and ratified the written annual report. Due to the new layout based on the Swiss standard GAAP FER, the annual report is now going to be about 40 pages long. It is going to be published in the run-up to the General Assembly, just like before, and can be accessed electronically via the SUISA website; hardcopies are available on special request.

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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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Important topics during the SUISA Board meeting in April included the annual accounts, the annual report and the preparation of the General Assembly, which is going to take place on Friday, 24 June 2016 in Berne. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

More money was available for authors and publishers due to a new record level reached for domestic collections in business year 2015, and due to another supplementary distribution of 7% on all payouts in 2016 as decided by the SUISA Board. (Photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com)

The SUISA Board focussed on the annual accounts 2015 at its April meeting. For the first time, the accounts will be presented in line with the new accounting standards (Swiss GAAP FER). Apart from the financial statements and the profit and loss accounts, it...read more

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Analyse der Jahresrechnung 2014 der SUISA: Der Markt zwischen Mythos und Realität

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