Tag Archives: Corporate strategy

News from the last two Board meetings

The Board of Directors and its pre-consulting Committee for Tariffs and Distribution and Organisation and Communication met on 16 June, in Berne, and on 4/5 October 2022 in Lausanne. Report from the Board of Directors by Noah Martin

News from the last two Board meetings

The General Meeting in 2024 shall be held on a Tuesday as a trial. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

Rainer Bischof, one of the three Directors of the Management Board of Mint, is going to step down from the SUISA Board of Directors. As a consequence, the Board of Directors has therefore determined a successor for the Management Board of Mint. The Joint-Venture-Partners SESAC and SUISA provide three Management Board seats each in the Mint Digital Services AG. They also have the option to nominate additional people as observers.

Mint Management Board

In June, the Board of Directors decided that the upcoming vacant seat shall be filled with the permanent observer, Christian Wicky. Sylvie Reinhard is to be elected as a new observer. Since 23 September 2022, the Mint Management Board is now made up as follows:

John Josephson (CEO, SESAC)
Christos Badavas (General Counsel, SESAC)
Alexander Wolf (President, International, SESAC)

Christian Wicky (Member of the Board of Directors and President of the Organisation and Communication Committee, SUISA)
Andreas Wegelin (CEO, SUISA)
Jürg Ziebold (CIO, SUISA)
Sylvie Reinhard (permanent observer)

Distribution Rules

The Distribution and Works Committee had already held deliberations on a revision of the distribution rules at its meeting on 4 May 2022 and decided to present them to the SUISA Board of Directors. Now, said motion was tabled at the June meeting of the Board of Directors. With its decision on 16 June, the latter gave its endorsement, all of them unanimous, to the three following amendment proposals:

  • Deletion of the Common Tariff 6b,
  • The reflection of tariff innovations in the distribution rules with regard to the distribution of tariff revenues from the blank media levies
  • And the adaption of the definition for the terms “publisher” and “sub-publisher”.

With its decisions resolutions dated 13 October 2022, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property adopted these changes (the changes of the publisher term and the allocation from the blank media levies shall enter into force when CT 6b will be deleted as of 01 January 2023) .

Cost unit accounting

As every year in its autumnal meeting, the Board of Directors dealt with the results of the cost unit accounting for the previous year. The cost unit accounting contains information on the level of the collection and distribution costs per tariff. Tariffs K, H and S are, as such, very cost-intensive; there is thus a need to act in order to optimise them. Fortunately, the result also showed that the costs are sinking in the online sector. Overall, there is a constant reduction of costs in the core process. The efforts for the automation and streamlining of the processes thus show effect.

Corporate strategy

Each year, in autumn, before setting up the budget, the Board of Directors formulates the strategy of SUISA. The completely revamped strategy from 2019 was subject to discussion against the background of current events.

It shows that despite the pandemic, the strategic principles worked out in 2019 continue to apply. Apart from some smaller content-related and editorial changes, the notion of sustainability has been given a new level of importance. The Board of Directors unanimously adopted the corporate strategy presented to it by the Executive Committee subject to a few amendments that have yet to be implemented.

Cooperative governance

SUISA’s legal department investigated the cooperative governance of SUISA and had suggested a few measures afterwards. A part of said measures included the change to the Statutes adopted by the General Meeting 2022 which will enter into force on 1 January 2023. Another part was made up of further measures, these were dealt with at the Board meeting in its autumn session in Lausanne.

Said further measures include, for example, the determination and development of the strategy, information rights and duties of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, the profile requirements for members of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Auditors, the requirement to be independent as a member of the Board of Directors, the code of conduct and the whistleblower system, transparency of the processes from within the cooperative, inclusion of members into opinion formation, electronic decision-making processes for the General Meeting, the self-evaluation and further training of the Board of Directors, the right of members to make proposals for the Board elections, control rights of the members and risk management and internal control system issues.

The Board of Directors took note of the cooperative governance report presented to it by the Executive Committee and decided to implement individual measures from it.

Board of Directors: Elections 2023 – report from the nomination committee

Following the announcement by the President of the Committee for Finance and Controlling, Rainer Bischof, that he was to step down from the Board of Directors, deliberations were held about his succession in the committee. The Board of Directors decided that Philipp Schnyder was to be elected as the new President of the Committee for Finance and Controlling from 1 January 2023 onwards to guarantee a seamless handover in the running this important committee.

Time and place of the General Meeting

Only 116 members entitled to vote took part in the General Meeting 2022. It is doubtful that this is due to a lack of interest, particularly with a view to the number of valid voting slips which were submitted at the two General Meetings in 2020 and 2021: In 2020, 1,576 and in the following year, 1,486 valid voting slips were registered. The higher the number of participating members is at the General Meeting, the more it is likely that the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors receive input regarding whether or not their actions are matching the expectations and interests of the cooperative members.

This fact was the reason to re-think time and place of the General Meeting. The Board of Directors therefore suggested that the General Meeting 2024 should be held on a Tuesday. Moreover, it decided that the General Meeting 2025 was to be held in Lugano if the option was available by then for members to attend online.

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From the 2021 Annual ReportFrom the 2021 Annual Report: From law-making to implementation The «Regulations» division is responsible for SUISA’s legal affairs. This starts with its involvement in political law-making activities, runs through tariff negotiations and drafting the distribution rules, and ends with the implementation of rules and regulations in case of disputes. In 2021, the division dealt with a number of key issues. Read more
Spring meeting of the SUISA Board of DirectorsSpring meeting of the SUISA Board of Directors The SUISA Board of Directors and its committees held their spring meetings on 11/12 April 2022. After a long break, it is back in full for the first time with face-to-face personal meetings at SUISAʼs headquarters in Zurich. Read more
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The Board of Directors and its pre-consulting Committee for Tariffs and Distribution and Organisation and Communication met on 16 June, in Berne, and on 4/5 October 2022 in Lausanne. Report from the Board of Directors by Noah Martin

News from the last two Board meetings

The General Meeting in 2024 shall be held on a Tuesday as a trial. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

Rainer Bischof, one of the three Directors of the Management Board of Mint, is going to step down from the SUISA Board of Directors. As a consequence, the Board of Directors has therefore determined a successor for the Management Board of Mint. The Joint-Venture-Partners SESAC and SUISA provide three Management Board seats each in the Mint Digital Services AG. They also have the option to nominate additional people as observers.

Mint Management Board

In June, the Board of Directors decided...read more

SUISA Board meeting, autumn 2021

The Board of Directors and the Committee for Tariffs and Distribution and the one for Organisation and Communication gathered on 29 and 30 September 2021 for their autumn meetings in Lausanne. Report from the Board of Directors by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA Board meeting, autumn 2021

During its autumn meeting, the SUISA Board of Directors elected Francine Jordi (pictured) into the Board of FONDATION SUISA. (Photo: Thomas Buchwalder)

Fortunately, the epidemiological situation allowed the members of the SUISA Board of Directors and the Executive Committee to meet in person again. Of all people, it was ausgerechnet? Councillor of States, Johanna Gapany, newly elected to the Board at the General Meeting 2021, who was only able to join the meeting of the Committee for Organisation and Communication (O+K) via video link due to her participation in the session of the Federal Councillors in Bern. The SUISA meeting schedule 2022 is going to be adapted with the Council sessions in mind.

Cost unit accounting

The Board of Directors dealt with the results of the cost unit accounting for 2020, like every year in its autumn meeting. Based on the cost unit accounting, it can be determined how high the expenditure for collection and distribution is for each tariff in detail.

It is generally known that SUISA deducts a fixed percentage from the settlements to the rightsholders as a cost contribution for its expenditure related to collection and distribution. This percentage, i.e. 15% for performing and broadcasting rights, is a mixed calculation in relation to the effective costs. For example, collecting licence fees for music usages in the hospitality industry (CT H) or for dance and entertainment (CT Hb) is more costly than the collection from radio stations (Tariff A and CT S).

This cost unit accounting also makes these differences visible, and it can also be shown in a time dimension whether the costs for a specific tariff are showing a downward trend thanks to savings and rationalisation measures. The result of the cost unit accounting 2020 was somewhat clouded by the difficult collection situation due to the pandemic, less income but still costs which could not be reduced to the same extent.

Strategy

Every year in its autumn meeting, the Board of Directors takes a look at the strategy of SUISA. The basis paper for this was created in 2019. It was now time to check whether the defined strategic objectives are still to be weighted equally and can be achieved in a meaningful way.

Due to the pandemic, slight adjustments were made; however, the fundamental strategic stance of “asserting oneself in the face of increasing competition through high yields with high cost-awareness and best service quality” remains the same.

Special meeting to discuss online usages

In relation to the company’s strategy, the Board of Directors is going to meet at the end of November in a special meeting to discuss online usages. One reason for this, among others, is also the five-year anniversary of Mint Digital Services, the Joint Venture with the US-American organisation SESAC.

For this special meeting, the Board of Directors approved an agenda and determined the main issues. The objective is to define the needs and expectations of the SUISA members and satisfy them by way of finding suitable measures at Mint Digital Services and the SUISA group of companies.

Distribution of “residuals”

Changes in the distribution rules normally have to be approved by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (in Switzerland) and the Office for Economic Affairs (in Liechtenstein). The competence in the case of distribution rules for collections for online licensing is different: The management of online rights is not subject to federal supervision. As such, the respective changes to distribution rules exclusively fall under the competence of the Distribution and Works Committee and the SUISA Board of Directors.

As part of this competence, the Board of Directors decided in its meeting on 30 September 2021 that item 5.6.1 of the distribution rules be changed respectively reviewed with regards to the distribution of the “residuals” paid by online platforms. “Residuals” are amounts paid by online music platforms for works or parts of works whose rights owners could not be determined and as such no claims were established by any collective management organisation.

Such difficulties arise in such cases when musical works have not been registered in time. For such cases, online providers pay so-called “residuals” after 18 months to the collective management organisation of the country where the music was used.

A so-called “multi-stage invoicing” has been agreed with the online music providers: The usage data of the distribution period will be matched after 90 and after 180 days again against the works database. During that time, it is possible to submit a late registration of the works resulting in a settlement for the work that has been registered late.

The Board of Directors decided that after 180 days, the payments for non-identified works (the “residuals”) shall be paid out as a supplement on top of the other used works in the corresponding distribution period. The alternative that up to five years after the usage, unidentified works can still be registered has been dismissed by the Board of Directors due to cost reasons. It is therefore important that new titles are registered as soon as possible so that online usages can be distributed as adequately as possible.

Francine Jordi elected to the Pension Board of the FONDATION SUISA

The Board of Directors of SUISA is the election committee of the Board of FONDATION SUISA, the foundation for music promotion of SUISA. In its autumn meeting, the Board elected Francine Jordi as a new Pension Board member.

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SUISA and the Covid-19 crisisSUISA and the Covid-19 crisis Since the end of February 2020, it’s not just the music sector that has been confronted with an unforeseen challenge. As a cooperative society for authors and publishers of music and a collective management organisation, how is SUISA dealing with the Covid-19 crisis which has been around for nearly two years? Read more
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The Board of Directors and the Committee for Tariffs and Distribution and the one for Organisation and Communication gathered on 29 and 30 September 2021 for their autumn meetings in Lausanne. Report from the Board of Directors by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA Board meeting, autumn 2021

During its autumn meeting, the SUISA Board of Directors elected Francine Jordi (pictured) into the Board of FONDATION SUISA. (Photo: Thomas Buchwalder)

Fortunately, the epidemiological situation allowed the members of the SUISA Board of Directors and the Executive Committee to meet in person again. Of all people, it was ausgerechnet? Councillor of States, Johanna Gapany, newly elected to the Board at the General Meeting 2021, who was only able to join the meeting of the Committee for Organisation and Communication (O+K) via video link due to her participation in the session of the...read more

SUISA and the Covid-19 crisis

Since the end of February 2020, it’s not just the music sector that has been confronted with an unforeseen challenge. As a cooperative society for authors and publishers of music and a collective management organisation, how is SUISA dealing with the Covid-19 crisis which has been around for nearly two years? Text by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA and the Covid-19 crisis

With the bans for public performances, many people in the music sector had neither work nor income overnight. SUISA kept its business and its services up and running during the Covid-19 crisis for its members and its customers. (Photo: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com)

At the gala for the 13th Swiss Music Awards on 28 February 2020, of all things, the Swiss-wide restrictions of events with music kicked in. That evening, only a maximum of 1,000 people were permitted to attend the live event. Those who believed that the Covid-19 pandemic would have disappeared with the cold winter air, just like a flu virus, were soon proved wrong: From 13 March 2020, no live concerts, no parties in clubs were allowed any longer. The music business, made up of composers, performing artists, event organisers and suppliers for the event sector was forcibly deprived of its existential basis.

Meanwhile, we find ourselves in the second Covid-19 year and have been experiencing enormous difficulties when it comes to holding music events with a physical audience. How is SUISA as a cooperative society for authors and publishers of music and as a collective management organisation dealing with that?

Financial losses and unpredictability

About a month after the first lockdown had been ordered, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of SUISA revised the budget for 2020. This so-called “Covid-19 budget” target which forecast 23% less in terms of collections and 8.5% more in terms of costs, could be met. As the annual accounts finally showed, the overall turnover losses were fortunately limited: The collections of SUISA in Switzerland and from abroad amounted to CHF 138.5m in 2020 which was 12% less than the previous record year (CHF 155.2m). Costs rose by only 1.1% compared to the previous year and therefore less dramatically as anticipated in the Covid-19 budget.

The drastic effects of the Covid-19 ordinances only become apparent when you look at the sectors individually: The decrease of the collections from concerts (–51%), entertainment events (–47%), the hospitality industry (–46%) and cinemas (–58%) is blatant compared to the 2019 results. The good results achieved for broadcasting rights, compensation claims and online usages partially offset these losses. However, rights owners whose income mainly stems from the success of live events had to face huge losses in terms of their distribution amounts.

Due to the second wave of the pandemic, all events were banned again in December 2020. Again, a Covid-19 budget had to be created where the expectations are lower yet again on the income side for the 2021 financial year: compared to 2020, 11% less. At the same time, savings of 11% in terms of costs should be achieved compared to the year before. Particularly with regard to the collections from concerts (tariff K), a further slump must be expected. The prognosis for the second Covid-19 year projects CHF 6m collections in this area. In 2020, this tariff generated CHF 11m and before the crisis in 2019, CHF 23m in remuneration for authors and publishers of music.

Two “buffers” help in this situation; they are expected to cushion the inclement framework conditions in the financial results as per the current status of the 2021 financial year: On the one hand, the situation regarding the securities investments is good. On the other hand, the money which could not be allocated to any rights owners during the last five years is used to cover costs. If possible it is paid out in the form of a supplementary distribution once this period has expired.

Relief measures for rights owners

Due to the effect of the pandemic, all collective management organisations in Europe decided to set up aid measures in favour of their rights holders. The aid measures launched by SUISA are based on three “columns”: First, advance payments on the distribution settlements with an extended payback period, second, contributions from the Covid-19 emergency fund which had been specially set up, and third and last, the emergency assistance for authors from the Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers (UVF).

These aid measures are gratefully received: Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020, CHF 1,416,084 advance payments were made up to 25 October 2021. CHF 251,250 were awarded as contributions from the emergency fund and CHF 170,500 were granted as emergency assistance via the UVF fund. You can continue to submit applications via “My account”. Due to the high number of rights owners, the extent of the losses only become apparent when it comes to the distributions in the years 2021 or 2022 which will be much lower for many since the events in 2020 and 2021 could not be held. Publishing companies have the option to request advance payments or contributions from the Covid-19 emergency fund. The UVF fund emergency assistance is only possible to be granted to authors due to legal reasons.

Lobbying

Just like if you had a short circuit, the lights went out for the entire event sector regarding public performances. From one day to the next, performers, event organisers, stage technicians and other staff in the public event sector were without work and income. For authors the concert stoppage meant that their works were no longer performed live and therefore no licence fees were paid for the performance of their music any longer. The collections from live events slumped to their lowest ever as described further above. These copyright royalties are, however, an important basis for the existence of many rights owners.

The first aid measures by the Swiss Confederation were insufficient and also not really tailored to resolve the problems in the cultural sector. Lobbying therefore became rather important during the crisis. It has been and still continues to be paramount to persuade public authorities, parliaments and the government that culture is vitally important for society, just like shops for your daily needs. If, therefore, cultural performances may no longer take place due to event bans, the creatives, event organisers but also the publishers and suppliers affected must be compensated accordingly. What needs to be taken into account in such situations is that, particularly in the culture sector, many work as self-employed freelancers or in the form of small organisations, e.g. associations.

Furthermore, the understanding needs to be firmed up that there are different types of events: Studies show that there often is a lower risk of getting infected at cultural events than at large sports events or funfairs. Lobbyists have not yet managed to anchor this differentiation in the minds of the decision-makers so far. Nevertheless, the “Taskforce Culture” which had been spontaneously set up during the crisis, has achieved a lot and has become an important contact point for authorities, parliaments and the government. SUISA is a part of the extended support circle of the Taskforce.

Manage from a distance and work remotely

The Cooperative Society SUISA employs about 250 people. They share 187 full time positions. All staff whose tasks could be done by working remotely had to be sent home in the week of 16 to 23 March 2020. The IT team created the required plans for such a completely unexpected process from scratch and made sure that staff could continue to work from home on devices provided by the employer, without major difficulties.

Working in your home office, a recommendation issued by the authorities, later turned from being optional to mandatory. As such, it was not just a challenge it also entailed completely new experiences in terms of managing and organising the operations. How do you reach your co-workers and colleagues if you cannot simply pop over to the next office space if the meeting and break out rooms cannot be used?

The previously existing and used options to hold virtual meetings and one-to-one conversations via video conference were expanded. Thanks to these technical means the connection which is so important for a good collaboration between management and staff but also among colleagues could be maintained. Executive staff were trained in how to lead and manage their staff from home. Every two weeks, a web meeting with the Executive Committee, the HR manager and the IT manager took place, moderated by the communications manager. All staff could participate in this meeting and ask questions via the chat function. We thus managed to transition the collaboration “across the distance” into a daily work routine.

Business operations were functioning, thanks to the flexible, committed and disciplined staff as well as the advanced digitisation. SUISA was always available to its members and its customers. This new experience made the Executive Committee decided to also enable home office work in future, up to 50% of the work time. Home office deployments must, however, be coordinated within the teams and this cannot be carried out for some positions in the extent reflecting a maximum.

More self-service – process automation

The obligation to work from home particularly highlighted how indispensable and important digitisation has been for a collective management organisation like SUISA. Working from home is only possible if the necessary data is available electronically and extensive paper dossiers do not have to be accessed. The immense advantages in terms of availability of the required information was proven as a consequence of the digitisation of all member and customer files in the last few years. The developments in terms of computerisation further contributed that it was possible to quickly switch to working from home in a successful manner.

Customers and members of SUISA also benefited from progress for efficient and satisfying contacts with the company triggered by the digitisation. Due to the closure months for the hospitality industry and shops ordered by the authorities, many customers had requested a refund of the unusable licence for music performances. The process of refunding licence fees can now simply be triggered via a web form.

Since the middle of 2020, members can access the royalty report via “my account”. All members who have a valid online access can retrieve the up-to-date data for their works and the licences issued for them and view and arrange them according to selected criteria. More recently, the login process for members and customers was enhanced via a two-factor authentication which means that the digital business exchange with SUISA offers an even higher security standard. Further developments will follow.

The applications and digitisation projects mentioned above were only implemented in such a successful and timely manner because the staff continued to work on them at full steam and without any limitations during the pandemic. After some lengthy discussions, Executive Committee and Board of Directors had decided that SUISA would not apply for and introduce short-time work. A wise decision, as the situation which we have been experiencing since March 2020, shows more and more clearly: In a roundabout way under pressure from the authorities’ ordinances regarding the pandemic, SUISA was able to develop its services much further over the last few months. Despite the losses in collections, we are ready with digitised and automated processes to manage the music licences for event organisers and to distribute the royalties to rights owners reliably and, above all, cost-effectively.

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Since the end of February 2020, it’s not just the music sector that has been confronted with an unforeseen challenge. As a cooperative society for authors and publishers of music and a collective management organisation, how is SUISA dealing with the Covid-19 crisis which has been around for nearly two years? Text by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA and the Covid-19 crisis

With the bans for public performances, many people in the music sector had neither work nor income overnight. SUISA kept its business and its services up and running during the Covid-19 crisis for its members and its customers. (Photo: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com)

At the gala for the 13th Swiss Music Awards on 28 February 2020, of all things, the Swiss-wide restrictions of events with music kicked in. That evening, only a maximum of 1,000 people were permitted to...read more

Outlooks and insights

In its meetings on 10 and 11 December 2019, the Board focussed on the budget for 2020 and SUISA’s strategy for the next five years. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Outlooks and insights

Advertising revenues have shifted from the TV towards the online sector. This shift has led to a negative impact on copyright collections. (Photo: Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.com)

The budget for the year 2020 had already been discussed in advance on 27 November 2019 at the meeting of the Executive Committee for Finance and Controlling. The Committee and the Board had to establish that the investment and staff requirements remain high. This is due to the fact that SUISA has taken on new tasks.

In the case of the new task fields which entail a higher demand for staff, it is particularly the collection of remuneration for background music and the reception of broadcasts in offices outside the domestic and private circle or home life that are affected. Said collections had been linked to the BILLAG collection of the fees for the reception of commercial broadcasts. Since 2019, SUISA has been carrying out this type of collection directly. Another sector where investments into additional staff resources need to be made is the IT sector. This is because self-service options for customers and members on the SUISA web platform “my account” are due for major enhancements. Expanding activities in terms of global licensing of online music distribution via the subsidiary, SUISA Digital Licensing AG and the Joint Venture for services with SESAC also require more staff.

Budget approved, future discussed

On the income side, the shift of the advertising revenue in the TV sector towards the online sector are noticeable. Revenues from broadcasting rights are stagnating while online usage does not increase proportionally. The Board has therefore approved a budget for 2020 which has a slightly worse cost/income ratio. Executive Management has also been asked to plan measures for 2021 to lower the cost/income ratio again.

The strategic alignment of the company has been discussed further on the basis of a re-defined strategy paper from the October meeting. Strategic focal points for the next years are described by keywords such as services, income/cost ratio, competition and innovation. To this end, the Board determined a roadmap for 2020 in its December meeting.

On top of that, the Board listened to updates on the personal changes at executive level of subsidiary SUISA Digital Licensing AG and Mint Digital Services, the Joint Venture with SESAC and discussed further development steps in the category of licensing of music in online services that is no longer limited per territory.

Distribution rules and by-elections

The Committee for Tariffs and Distribution and the entire Board subsequently decided on two changes to the distribution rules, namely an adaptation of the weighting of music in the case of sales broadcasts in advertising windows of foreign TV channels and the dissolution of distribution category 4A. These decisions are subject to the approval by the IGE (IPI), our supervisory authority. Furthermore, the Board determined the cost deductions for the distributions in 2020. They are to remain the same as in 2019.

After the election of Grégoire Liechti into the SUISA Board by the General Meeting in 2019, a seat in the Distribution and Works Committee has become available and needs to be filled. We are looking for a music publisher. The Board is going to propose Michael Hug, owner of the publishing house Ruh Musik AG, at its General Meeting in 2020.

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Changes in distribution for Common Tariff K and Z revenuesChanges in distribution for Common Tariff K and Z revenues The CHF 20 limit for the distribution of revenues under Common Tariffs K (concerts) and Z (circuses) has been eliminated. As a result, amounts previously allocated to distribution category 4C will be otherwise regulated. The changes concern points 4.1, 4.2, 5.4 and 5.5 of SUISA’s Distribution Rules. Read more
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In its meetings on 10 and 11 December 2019, the Board focussed on the budget for 2020 and SUISA’s strategy for the next five years. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Report from the Board: Outlooks and insights

Advertising revenues have shifted from the TV towards the online sector. This shift has led to a negative impact on copyright collections. (Photo: Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.com)

The budget for the year 2020 had already been discussed in advance on 27 November 2019 at the meeting of the Executive Committee for Finance and Controlling. The Committee and the Board had to establish that the investment and staff requirements remain high. This is due to the fact that SUISA has taken on new tasks.

In the case of the new task fields which entail a higher demand for staff, it is particularly...read more

Two new faces for the Board meeting in autumn

At the General Meeting in June 2019, two new members were elected into the SUISA Board. At the first meeting after the elections in the course of the autumn meetings, the Board has reconstituted itself and dealt with cost unit accounting and business strategy. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Two new faces for the Board meeting in autumn

The newly elected Board members Sylvie Reinhard (left) and Grégoire Liechti. (Photos: Simon Tanner; Sibylle Roth)

In early October, the first meetings of the newly elected Board took place. In June 2019, the General Meeting elected Sylvie Reinhard and Grégoire Liechti to replace the Board members Bertrand Liechti and Marco Zanotta who had stepped down due to the limitation of the term in office. The Board reconstituted itself during its first meeting after the elections. Marco Neeser was elected to be the new Vice President and the three Board Committees were newly appointed.

Cost unit accounting and business strategy

During its autumn meeting, the Board also dealt with the cost unit accounting for 2018 and the business strategy, just like every year. The cost unit accounting shows in detail how high the expenses for each individual usage sector or tariff in the past financial year were. It serves the purpose of identifying particularly cost intensive areas and to introduce the respective measures to improve the situation. In this context, the Executive Committee presented the processes for the licensing of concerts (Tariff K) and sound recordings (Tariff PI) in more detail.

Regarding the business strategy, the Board deliberated on the increasing competition of the collective management organisations and the huge repertoires, represented by the big publishing companies, but also the growing tendency of known authors to collect their authors´ rights directly for their performances – without the “detour” via the collective management organisations. It is expected that competition will grow.

SUISA can, compared to the collective management organisations in Germany or France, not count on its own repertoire when it comes to international fame. As a consequence, SUISA has to offer the most important services at high quality levels and at an attractive price in order to persist in the market.

Other meeting topics

Other items discussed during the meetings were the current tariff negotiations and the distribution results. SUISA´s sponsoring activities in 2020 were also a subject of the meeting in order to consider the respective amounts in time into the budget for 2020.

The Board has, finally, had some thoughts on the 100th Birthday of SUISA which will be celebrated in 2023. A little less far away, it also determined the meeting diary for 2020.

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SUISA makes music possibleSUISA makes music possible A new mission statement, a new organisation chart! Fairness, dedication and passion – these three concepts make up SUISA’s new mission statement. “SUISA makes music possible” is at the centre of the new mission statement. The same principle has been applied to SUISA’s new organisation chart. Read more
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At the General Meeting in June 2019, two new members were elected into the SUISA Board. At the first meeting after the elections in the course of the autumn meetings, the Board has reconstituted itself and dealt with cost unit accounting and business strategy. Report from the Board by Andreas Wegelin

Two new faces for the Board meeting in autumn

The newly elected Board members Sylvie Reinhard (left) and Grégoire Liechti. (Photos: Simon Tanner; Sibylle Roth)

In early October, the first meetings of the newly elected Board took place. In June 2019, the General Meeting elected Sylvie Reinhard and Grégoire Liechti to replace the Board members Bertrand Liechti and Marco Zanotta who had stepped down due to the limitation of the term in office. The Board reconstituted itself during its first meeting after the elections. Marco Neeser was elected to be the...read more

SUISA makes music possible

A new mission statement, a new organisation chart! Fairness, dedication and passion – these three concepts make up SUISA’s new mission statement. “SUISA makes music possible” is at the centre of the new mission statement. The same principle has been applied to SUISA’s new organisation chart. By Irène Philipp Ziebold, COO

SUISA makes music possible

SUISA makes music possible as a mediator between the interests of music creators and music users. (Illustration: Zusammenspiel)

Fair dealings when it comes to artists’ creations, dedication regarding mediation between the interests of music creators and users as well as passion for SUISA staff for their daily work. SUISA’s new mission statement has the motto “SUISA makes music possible” at the centre. This principle is also the foundation of the new organisation chart of SUISA which has been in force since January 2019.

New organisation chart

The new organisation is more strongly oriented in processes than before. This shall ensure that music creators receive the best possible remuneration for the use of their music. The objective of the reviewed organisation chart is to further optimise SUISA’s internal process efficiencies. The main process – licensing and distributing – is now combined in one department under a joint roof.

SUISA’s organisational structure will continue to be split into three departments. The responsibility of the core process shall rest with the new department “Operations”. Add to that the department “Regulations” for legal prerequisites and international work documentation as well as the department “Services” for all cross-sectional services, especially IT, Finance, HR and Public Relations.

The competences and responsibilities are thus also increasingly bundled at Executive Committee level. The responsibility for the licensing of the various music usages and, consequently, the distribution of the respective copyright royalties thus lies with one person. This way, complex interfaces can be avoided and tighter processes will be created. The objective remains that we tackle all future developments in the interest of our members and never forget to offer an efficient but also top-quality service.

New mission statement

In order to function in a (new) organisation, framework conditions must be set in the company. The purpose of a mission statement are to define any signposts within which company strategy shall be fulfilled. The mission statement is also intended to demonstrate what the purpose of a company is, to reflect its identity and to show what image is intended. Last but not least, the mission statement (PDF, in German) is meant to be an informational guideline for all staff and act as a motivator for them. Another aim is to illustrate and reflect the diversity and reality of the various staff members and SUISA target groups.

The previous SUISA mission statement was created at the end of the nineties. It thus no longer reflects today’s reality for SUISA and its environment and did no longer fulfil the above mentioned expectations. SUISA’s Executive Committee has therefore commissioned the creation of a new mission statement at the beginning of 2017. The new mission statement was worked on during a half-year period by a working group consisting of 14 SUISA staff members and two external experts. Staff members of all genders, age groups and hierarchical rankings as well as from all three SUISA locations took part.

Fairness, dedication and passion – these three concepts make up SUISA’s new mission statement. With the optimised organisational structure onto which the new organisation chart is based, we are equipped and ready and work intensively on the implementation of the new motto: SUISA makes music possible!

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A new mission statement, a new organisation chart! Fairness, dedication and passion – these three concepts make up SUISA’s new mission statement. “SUISA makes music possible” is at the centre of the new mission statement. The same principle has been applied to SUISA’s new organisation chart. By Irène Philipp Ziebold, COO

SUISA makes music possible

SUISA makes music possible as a mediator between the interests of music creators and music users. (Illustration: Zusammenspiel)

Fair dealings when it comes to artists’ creations, dedication regarding mediation between the interests of music creators and users as well as passion for SUISA staff for their daily work. SUISA’s new mission statement has the motto “SUISA makes music possible” at the centre. This principle is also the foundation of the new organisation chart of SUISA which has been in force since January...read more

SUISA’s IT under new management

IT is the technological backbone of every service provider. SUISA’s IT is now managed by a new team. Text by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA’s IT under new management

The management team of SUISA’s IT from April 2019 onwards (from left to right): Dieter Wijngaards, Jürg Ziebold and Hansruedi Jung. (Photo: Sibylle Roth)

About seven years ago, in December 2011, the SUISA Board approved a new IT strategy in the course of the 2012 budget ratification. The effects of what was summarised in the article “Budget 2012 wrapped up” in SUISAinfo, edition 1.12, had a few consequences in the following years.

The main goal had been to replace SUISA’s IT with the IBM large-scale system and the reorganisation of the IT landscape into a modern architecture. Thanks to the new architecture, IT-based services have been significantly expanded since then. Needs and requirements of members, staff and SUISA customers could be satisfied more quickly and more flexibly with the new developments.

Expansion of online services for members and customers

Members have the option today to process daily SUISA matters via the online app “my account”. In the password-protected member area, settlements are made available electronically every quarter, works registrations can also be carried out. SUISA customers also benefit from the expansion of the online services; most recently due to the online notification of usages for background music or public viewing (CT 3a).

Numerous additional technical developments make our staff members’ work easier and help us save personnel costs. Among such developments are, for example, a digital document management system (DMS) for all member files or the fundamental technical renovation of our works documentation which also enables us to globally carry out online licensing of the works in cooperation with our joint venture partner SESAC in Mint Digital Services.

New management team appointed

The number of staff in the IT sector has increased during that time from 23 to 30. In order to safeguard a circumspect and competent management, the Board has appointed the previous manager of the Applications Technology department, Jürg Ziebold, as overall Manager of SUISA’s IT, and Dieter Wijngaards as new Manager of Applications Technology as of 1 January.

SUISA’s IT setup of two departments continues and comprises, Applications Technology and Systems Technology. Jürg Ziebold directly manages the two heads of department, Dieter Wijngaards (Applications Technology) and Hansruedi Jung (Systems Technology) and a team of business analysts. Whereas Hansruedi Jung has been in charge of the Systems Technology department since 2006, Dieter Wijngaards joins the SUISA IT team on 1 April 2019. Dieter Wijngaards used to be CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at Adesso Schweiz AG and had already been consulting SUISA’s IT since 2012 during the development of the new IT architecture.

SUISA’s Executive Committee is pleased with the appointment of the new IT management team and is convinced that it thus continues to safeguard the central role of IT in terms of executing business processes. It wishes the new IT management good luck.

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  1. Manuel Brehm says:

    An euren 80%-Mitarbeiter/ Wirtschaftsinformatiker, der mich an seinem freien Tag heute von Brülisau nach Appenzell mitgenommen hat: Nochmals herzlichen Dank! Bin „mega uf de Stümpe gsi“ und darum einfach froh, mitfahren zu dürfen. Derjenige sollte bei euch befördert werden ;-)…

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IT is the technological backbone of every service provider. SUISA’s IT is now managed by a new team. Text by Andreas Wegelin

SUISA’s IT under new management

The management team of SUISA’s IT from April 2019 onwards (from left to right): Dieter Wijngaards, Jürg Ziebold and Hansruedi Jung. (Photo: Sibylle Roth)

About seven years ago, in December 2011, the SUISA Board approved a new IT strategy in the course of the 2012 budget ratification. The effects of what was summarised in the article “Budget 2012 wrapped up” in SUISAinfo, edition 1.12, had a few consequences in the following years.

The main goal had been to replace SUISA’s IT with the IBM large-scale system and the reorganisation of the IT landscape into a modern architecture. Thanks to the new architecture, IT-based services have been significantly expanded since then. Needs and...read more

Introduction of a process-oriented organisation chart at SUISA

SUISA’s organisational structure changes from 01 January 2019 onwards. The Board had decided to implement the project “Horizon 2019” upon the request by General Management. Text by Andreas Wegelin

Introduction of a process-oriented organisation chart at SUISA

SUISA’s organisation chart, valid from 2019 (Status: November 2018). (Graphics: Crafft Communication)

The objective of the reviewed organisation chart is to further optimise SUISA’s internal process efficiencies. Procedural responsibilities will be aligned with the core process of our work.

SUISA’s core activities are licensing and distribution processes. Licensing fees are collected from users such as concert and event organisers, radio stations, discotheques, producers of sound recordings, online providers of music etc. The collected monies are subsequently distributed to rights owners i.e. the authors and publishers, nationally and internationally.

Core process combined in one department

This core process is increasingly supported by IT and – unlike before – practically no longer separable into pure licensing and distribution tasks. Following these developments it is sensible to unify the core process in one department, with one person in charge of it all.

The core process does, however, not work without principles and prerequisites which first have to be worked out and made available. Among these are legal regulations such as tariffs, distribution rules, user agreements and rights administration agreements. Furthermore, a comprehensive work documentation, i.e. the information on which rights owner (composer, lyricist, arranger, publisher, sub-publisher) has a share in a specific work, is also part of the basic principles which need to be made available for licensing and distribution tasks.

On top of that, our relationships with the sister societies, i.e. the organisationswhich offer copyright management services in other countries, are also part of the basic principles. We also need agreements in this area to ensure the conditions under which the relevant rights are managed in the respective territories. This is – especially with a view to the global online dissemination of SUISA repertoire – of increasing importance.

SUISA organisation chart from 2019 onwards

SUISA’s organisational structure will continue to be split into three departments. The responsibility of the core process shall rest with the new department “Operations”. The department “Regulations” for legal prerequisites and international work documentation as well as the department “Services” for all cross-sectional services, especially IT, Finance, HR and Communications.

As a consequence, there will be changes regarding the responsibility for departments and divisions with regards to the 3-person executive management team:

Irène Philipp Ziebold, previously Director of the Members and Distribution Department, will become Chief Operating Officer (COO). She heads all departments where licensing or distribution is carried out in practice, which means: where reports on music use are processed, invoices are issued and licensing fees are distributed.

Vincent Salvadé (Deputy CEO) shall become head of the Department “Regulations”. He is in charge of all regulatory affairs and SUISA’s Compliance with the respective processes. He leads the Legal Department, the Department for International Documentation as well as the subsidiary, SUISA Digital Licensing, for its online business. He is also responsible for tariffs and distribution rules.

Finally, all service departments and divisions, especially IT, Finance, HR, Communications and the responsibility for the Joint Venture Mint Digital Services with our US-partner SESAC remain under the leadership of our Chief Executive Officer (CEO, Andreas Wegelin).

The new organisation chart will thus entail shifts in the areas of responsibility at Executive level and changes in terms of departmental subordinations. What this does not mean, however, is that there will be a reduction in workplaces. On the contrary: staff numbers might even increase slightly because SUISA will take over the collection of copyright licence fees for background music and the reception of broadcasts in shops, hairdressers, hotels, restaurants and companies of any kind from Billag from 01 January 2019 onwards.

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SUISA’s organisational structure changes from 01 January 2019 onwards. The Board had decided to implement the project “Horizon 2019” upon the request by General Management. Text by Andreas Wegelin

Introduction of a process-oriented organisation chart at SUISA

SUISA’s organisation chart, valid from 2019 (Status: November 2018). (Graphics: Crafft Communication)

The objective of the reviewed organisation chart is to further optimise SUISA’s internal process efficiencies. Procedural responsibilities will be aligned with the core process of our work.

SUISA’s core activities are licensing and distribution processes. Licensing fees are collected from users such as concert and event organisers, radio stations, discotheques, producers of sound recordings, online providers of music etc. The collected monies are subsequently distributed to rights owners i.e. the authors and publishers, nationally and internationally.

Core process combined in one department

This core process is increasingly supported by IT and – unlike before –...read more

Can the blockchain and the bass strike a harmonious chord?

Technological developments that affect the music industry are a constant focus of SUISA’s management committees. Blockchain technology was one of the many important topics on the agenda at the board meetings in October 2018. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Can the blockchain and the bass strike a harmonious chord?

To what extent is blockchain technology in harmony with the interests of music copyright holders and publishers? (Photo: Daphne.t / Shutterstock.com)

At the autumn meetings of the SUISA Board of Directors in Lausanne, musician and researcher Steffen Holly from the German Fraunhofer Institute provided a glimpse into the world of blockchain technology. He showed how blockchain was born from of a combination of existing IT possibilities, using practical examples to illustrate the theory behind the system. He also showed how the development of the music industry and technology are closely related: new instruments give rise to new music, new demand and new technical possibilities. Who would have thought it would be possible to rent music? But streaming services are now licensed by SUISA.

The scientist also recommended assessing whether blockchain is a viable solution for every business model. In other words, critically examining whether the blockchain and the bass really can strike a harmonious chord. He provided some prominent real-world examples (Airbnb, Uber, car rental) and also made reference to musicnow.eu. Launched on the basis of the EU Collective Rights Management Directive, this project aims to use blockchain technology to facilitate collaboration between authors, artists, collecting societies and content users.

Technological developments are a permanent area of focus for SUISA’s Board of Directors and management team. In the recently adopted Strategy 2020, SUISA states its intention to step up its research and development under the heading “New technologies give rise to new forms of use”. Following Steffen Holly’s presentation, the collecting society is looking to engage in dialogue with a member of the musicnow.eu project.

Status of tariff negotiations and personnel changes

In addition to addressing the forward-looking topic of blockchain, Vincent Salvadé reported on the current status of the tariff negotiations between the collecting societies and the user organisations. In recent months, the Federal Arbitration Commission has approved the VN (audio-visual media for screening, broadcasting, online use) and CT 3c (public viewing) tariffs. Approval of CT 4i (integrated digital storage media) is pending, while GT 12 (set-top boxes, virtual video recorders) was appealed by the broadcasting companies.

Other important items on the agenda related to the HR department and the 2019 board elections. Monica Hernandez took over as Head of Human Resources/Training & Development in mid-June. Thanks to her dedication, extensive expertise and wealth of experience, she has quickly settled into her new role. Her colleagues value her professionalism, service mindset and customer-oriented approach, as well as her open, positive attitude.

General board elections will be held at the 2019 Annual General Meeting. With the exception of Bertrand Liechti and Marco Zanotta, who are both stepping down after serving for the maximum period, all directors are eligible for a further term of office. The Board of Directors has appointed a Nomination Committee to look for suitable successors. Its members reported on the status of this search for candidates.

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Leave a Reply

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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Technological developments that affect the music industry are a constant focus of SUISA’s management committees. Blockchain technology was one of the many important topics on the agenda at the board meetings in October 2018. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller

Can the blockchain and the bass strike a harmonious chord?

To what extent is blockchain technology in harmony with the interests of music copyright holders and publishers? (Photo: Daphne.t / Shutterstock.com)

At the autumn meetings of the SUISA Board of Directors in Lausanne, musician and researcher Steffen Holly from the German Fraunhofer Institute provided a glimpse into the world of blockchain technology. He showed how blockchain was born from of a combination of existing IT possibilities, using practical examples to illustrate the theory behind the system. He also showed how the development of the music industry and technology are closely related: new...read more

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

Initiated by Ticino-based Board member Zeno Gabaglio, the Board of Directors of SUISA held its autumn meeting in Lugano this year. The agenda items for the meetings on 3 and 4 October 2017 were quite exhaustive. A selection of the topics under discussion are included in this report from the Board by Dora Zeller.

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

The current Board of SUISA in a photoshoot dating back to spring 2017. (Photo: Marc Latzel)

An important agenda point was the ratification of the business strategy. Management is looking ahead into the future with this strategy, defining which objectives it wishes to reach in a specified period of time. SUISA’s strategy usually covers a four-year period, currently 2016-2020. Due to the business events and plans it is subject to review several times a year. It is subdivided in four main areas:

  • Cost & growth (cultivate customer relations, maximise members’ incomes, support and challenge staff members)
  • Trust (members are ‘shareholders’)
  • Develop copyright
  • Align the business with new demands (online and offline)

For each of the main areas, facts are recorded; subsequently, the relevant measures are listed in terms of planning how to reach the strategic goals. For example, in the case of “members are our shareholders”, this means: Rethink and diversify services, standardise documentation and works registration, cultivate transparency and communication, guarantee domestic and international administration of members’ rights and assure quality via automation and process optimisation.

Increased competition in the licensing business requires measures

When it comes to the main area “align the business with new demands”, offline business was added as a new area. In the course of the last few years, there is now competition for music licences and there are new providers in the marketplace, too. These providers are no cooperative societies and do not belong to the authors as is the case for the majority of collective management organisations in Europe. They are profit-making private companies.

There are new developments in the “direct licensing” area for major concerts as well as for the collection of background music (piped music). The task at hand is to tackle the new licensing offers, to create SUISA’s own offers (tariffs) in a competitive manner, to search collaboration and to promote the legal framework conditions.

On the basis of the agreed strategy, management is now going to work on a roadmap. The latter will serve the purpose of splitting the measures into small, specific steps to which deadlines and responsibilities will be allocated.

Distribution: 8,126 members received CHF 11,093,520

SUISA distributes the majority of its tariffs on a quarterly basis. In September, collections for performances (Tariffs D, K; 1st quarter 2017), broadcasts SRG (Tariff A; 1st quarter 2017), “advertising windows” (2015) and reproduction (Tariffs PA, PI, PN, VI, 1st quarter 2017) were included in the distribution.

The remuneration was paid out to SUISA members (CHF 5,729,852.00) and to sister societies (CHF 5,363,669.00). Approx. CHF 1,229,425 were held back due to a lack of details, missing documentation etc. The reserved monies will be paid out in adjustment runs as soon as the necessary data for a correct distribution has been completed.

Collaboration between ProLitteris, SSA, SUISA, Suissimage and Swissperform

In 1993, the five Swiss collective management organisations signed the first written collaboration agreement. This was triggered by the expansion of copyright towards neighbouring rights back in the day. Before that, the societies had entertained informal exchanges and coordinated joint tariff negotiations.

In the coordination committee (KOAU) of the societies, the agreement was recently reviewed. The intention was to reflect the current situation and to simplify the collaboration in complex areas. New provisions include the process of passing resolutions as well as collection principles relating to collections on behalf of other societies. The SUISA Board has approved the revised collaboration agreement.

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“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland”“SUISA’s office in Lugano is a reference point for the music scene in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland” SUISA has offices in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano and is thus represented in three language regions of Switzerland. In Lugano, four members of staff look after the Italian-speaking members and customers in Ticino. The new manager of the regional office in Ticino, Stefano Keller, has been in office for 100 days now. In this interview, he elaborates on topics such as why the Lugano office requires allrounders, how SUISA contributes to the promotion of creative performances in Ticino and which goals he has as a manager of the Ticino office. Read more
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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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Initiated by Ticino-based Board member Zeno Gabaglio, the Board of Directors of SUISA held its autumn meeting in Lugano this year. The agenda items for the meetings on 3 and 4 October 2017 were quite exhaustive. A selection of the topics under discussion are included in this report from the Board by Dora Zeller.

SUISA Board looks ahead into the future

The current Board of SUISA in a photoshoot dating back to spring 2017. (Photo: Marc Latzel)

An important agenda point was the ratification of the business strategy. Management is looking ahead into the future with this strategy, defining which objectives it wishes to reach in a specified period of time. SUISA’s strategy usually covers a four-year period, currently 2016-2020. Due to the business events and plans it is subject to review several times a year. It is subdivided in...read more