In Summary
  • Documents they submitted to a parliamentary committee scrutinising their work shows that of this amount, only Sh380 million, 34 per cent, was paid out in royalties to the artistes over three years.
  • Music copyright society is the biggest earner. It collected Sh273.6 million in 2013, Sh326.2 million in 2014 and Sh360.9 million in 2015. It then paid out Sh82.6 million in 2013, Sh120.5 million in 2014 and Sh129 million last year.

The organisations that collect royalties for musicians, actors and producers collected Sh1.1 billion over the last three years.

Documents they submitted to a parliamentary committee scrutinising their work shows that of this amount, only Sh380 million, 34 per cent, was paid out in royalties to the artistes over three years.

This information was handed over to the energy, information and communication committee and is the most comprehensive account to date of the money the organisations collect and pay out.

It also justifies the assertion by the artistes that they spend too much on administration, which reduces the royalties.

The figure does not include the money collected from Safaricom, which runs Skiza Tunes where music is provided as a ring back tune. 

The committee’s analysts have, however, disputed some of the information.

“Financial information presented by the Performers Rights Society of Kenya has variant figures from their audited statements and their operational reports,” the analysts said in a document.

The analysts said performers society’s statements on 2014 and 2015 differ in the reports of their operations and the statements of income.

They were thus undecided on whether to go with the figures in the reports or those in the statements. The bodies are known as Collective Management Organisations and are: Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Music Producers and the Performers Rights Society of Kenya.

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