At the end of April, the Board and its committees met for the penultimate time in their current composition: The Board will bid farewell to three long-serving members in June 2023 and propose three highly qualified new candidates for election at the General Meeting. As every year, the April meeting was dominated by the annual accounts and the upcoming General Meeting. However, there is one small difference between this year and every other year: SUISA turns one hundred!
Annual accounts and supplemental distribution
Not only has the 2022 Annual Report a new layout, it also features new content: Core revenues are at a record level in 2022, with SUISA generating around CHF 157.5 million in revenues from copyright licensing. The effects of the pandemic in the area of performing rights, which could still be felt in 2022, were offset by rising online revenues, among other things. However, actual costs (excluding unrealised losses on marketable securities) also remained within reasonable limits at around CHF 31.2 million (8.8% below budget). The Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2022 annual accounts and balance sheets of the SUISA Cooperative and SUISA Group for the attention of the General Meeting.
Nevertheless, SUISA also looks back on a poor stock market year. The securities income normally used to cover administrative expenses was not received. Instead, settlement liabilities released in 2022 (funds that cannot be distributed, e.g., due to missing work registrations, documentation, etc.) had to be used to a large extent for said purpose. The Board nevertheless decided to use the resulting smaller-than-usual balance of released settlement liabilities to pay a supplemental distribution to rightsholders of 1.75% on all regular settlements to be paid in 2023 and the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2024.
Elections of the Board of Directors, the Distribution and Works Committee and the Complaints Committee
Members of the Board, the Distribution and Works Committee, and the Complaints Committee hold their offices for a term of four years. In 2023, these elections are due by rotation.
Board members Rainer Bischof, Irene Kunzelmann and Marie Louise Werth stand down from the Board. Consequently, the Board of Directors had to deal with the search for successors. For this purpose, the Chairman convened a Nomination Committee, which ultimately proposed five suitable candidates to the Board and made a recommendation in this regard. Both the preliminary advisory committee and the entire board followed the recommendation of the Nomination Committee and now propose to the general assembly to elect the three candidates Chantal Bolzern (lawyer), Tina Funk (publisher) and Anna Murphy (author) to the Board.
New elections are also due this year for the Distribution and Works Committee (VWK) and the Complaints Committee. Five vacancies will arise in the VWK as of June 2023 and accordingly five new candidates will be proposed to the General Meeting for election. Here, too, the Board followed the proposal of the Nomination Committee convened for this purpose. All members of the Complaints Committee, which was established four years ago, are also standing for re-election and thus for their second term of office.
Dissolution of the Corona Emergency Fund and reduction of the socio-cultural deduction for managing the PRS repertoire
The Covid-19 crisis caused anxiety and worry in the music world. In 2020, the General Meeting had decided, at the request of the Board, that funds would be made available to SUISA members and principals in need due to the Covid-19 crisis in the form of a Corona Emergency Fund. In 2023, the requests for support steadily decreased and the Board saw the continuation of support from the Corona Emergency Fund to be no longer necessary as of July 2023. Accordingly, it decided on 25 April to propose to the General Meeting that the Corona Emergency Fund be dissolved as of 30 June 2023.
Another decision had to be made by the Board of Directors regarding a matter concerning international relations, namely the relationship between SUISA and its English sister society PRS. SUISA takes a so-called socio-cultural deduction of 10% (calculated on net revenues, i.e. revenues after deduction of administrative costs) when distributing remuneration from performing and broadcasting rights, 7.5% of which is paid to the Pension Fund for Authors and Publishers (Stiftung Urheber- und Verlegerfürsorge, UVF) and 2.5% to FONDATION SUISA. The British collecting society PRS demands that this deduction on the rights to which it is entitled be reduced to 5.25% in the future (calculated on gross revenues from rights management). The mandate granted by PRS to manage British music repertoire is rather important to SUISA. After careful consideration of possible risks, the Executive Committee decided to put a motion to the General Meeting including a reduction of the deduction for social and cultural purposes when it comes to the distribution of PRS repertoire.
Centenary! SUISA turns one hundred
Especially in the Organisation & Communication Committee (O+K) – it does what the name says – 2023 is an exciting year. SUISA turns one hundred! And the O+K Committee has had many decisions to make in view of this for some time. At the meeting on 24 April 2023, Giorgio Tebaldi, Head of Communications and Committee regular, presented the anniversary specials that he and his team have spent a long time preparing and will gradually, step by step, present them to the public. This includes the short series “Louis gets it!”, created in collaboration with Maybaum Film, whose first episode, “What the SUISA?!” was released on May 4. In addition to much more – there is more information available on the website www.suisa100.ch , which has been specially created for the centenary – the anniversary will be celebrated following the General Meeting on 23 June 2023. SUISA members will receive their invitation by post at the end of May.
The Board of Directors was informed by the Executive Committee about upcoming personnel-related changes, in addition to many other matters. The long-standing Head of the Tariffs & Distribution Regulations Department, Anke Link, is going to leave SUISA. Anke Link, who, in addition to her work in the tariff sector, also wrote for the SUISAblog, has done most valuable work for the Cooperative, for which she deserves a huge amount of gratitude from the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The vacant position will be filled by Martin Korrodi, current Head of Event Licensing. A recruitment campaign is underway regarding the vacancy for the Licensing Events Department Manager.