Artists unite against Woolworths’ decision to not pay SA musicians royalties

Artists unite against Woolworths’ decision to not pay SA musicians royalties

South African artists have taken to social media to stand against Woolworths’ alleged decision to only play royalty-free music in their stores.


Woolworths has come under fire after it was revealed that it will only have royalty-free music on its playlist. This is according to several posts shared on Twitter.

Toya DeLazy, Moozlie, DJ Ganyani, and Ginger Trill are some of the artists who have spoken out against this decision.  

This is because many artists make a living from selling their music, performing, and getting paid royalties for their work.

According to the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) website: " Music creators (song writers, composers and publishers) are entitled to royalties every time their music is used. SAMRO collects money from establishments that use music like clubs, banks, radios and many others. We then distribute this money to music creators in a form of royalties."

So, this means every time Woolworths plays any music that is registered with SAMRO, it will have to pay royalties to the artists. However, if it chooses to only play royalty-free music, it will save money, but this will disadvantage artists who work hard to have their music played so they can put bread on the table. 

“Disappointing much to note that  @woolworths_sa  has no interest in supporting local music, the greatest economy contributor. As artists and the entire music value chain, we rely on all business in SA to rally behind…,” Dj Ganyani wrote on Twitter. 

Another rapper, Ginger Trill, tweeted: “So I hear Woolies won’t be playing our music in the store anymore  bathoooong lona."

He went on to explain how the decision will affect many artists. 

“Do you get the implications for the artist ?! And look , they don’t have to keep playing our music really, but I’m saying though  ... this is gonna cut our cheques down BADLY. 

“As an artist, I can tell you now a lot of us need our royalty cheques to keep going in this business, it’s such a significant part of our income, it keeps the lights on in some instances and this whole thing with Woolies is gonna be devestating. 

" I need ya’ll to understand what this means for real ... once Woolies stops playing our music and opts for copyright free music ( and i repeat they’re not breaking any law ) there’ll be a significant cut down on the royalty money distributed to artists by @OfficialSAMPRA" he wrote. 

Toya Delazy added: "This will hit independent artists the hardest & force artists to seek to be signed which in SA is slavery all over again having been there. I hope they rethink -they don't need to be cutting costs with all they money they make from us ..."

Ginger Trill has asked other artists to join in the fight against this.

“Dear Local Artist ... WE NEED YOU TO STAND WITH US and support this course as this affects you directly , this has implications on our industry as a whole , especially independent artists, get woke and get involved !! This is a call to ACT #PLAYOURMUSICWOOLIES,” he tweeted.

Below are some of the Tweets. 

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