BumaStemra issues licences for the (commercial) use of music. We distribute the royalties we collect to the rightsholders of that music: the music creators.
We handle around 200,000 licences. That involves quite a lot of money. In 2022, we collected over 260 million euros for music use. This page tells you how we handle the royalties we collect.
Financial flows within BumaStemra
How do we collect the money?
We work in different markets: online, corporate, hospitality, mechanical, radio and TV and events. We also receive royalties when music is used abroad through our international sister societies. And vice versa. We pay our sister societies when their members’ music is used in the Netherlands. This provides income for music creators: composers, songwriters and their publishers almost everywhere in the world.
What happens to the money we collect?
Most of the money we collect goes directly to the rightsholders. However, we do retain an amount for our administration costs. And we allocate some of the money for social and cultural purposes.
Before distributing royalties to our rightsholders, we deduct administration costs. We use this money to cover part of our administration and financial expenses. BumaStemra employs around 140 people, and our administration costs mainly consist of personnel costs. This also covers costs for IT, work premises and depreciation. Good to know: BumaStemra is a non-profit organisation.
To find out more about what we deduct for administration costs, you can see the withholding percentages for calendar years 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Social and cultural purposes
Some of the money collected by Buma is also made available for social and cultural purposes. We use this money to support professional associations and Buma Cultuur.
Distribution to our members
After we have divided the administration costs and the money for social and cultural purposes, there is money left over. We distribute this to our rightsholders. For each euro we collect from music users, more than 85 cents are distributed on average. A number of conditions must be met for distribution to take place:
- Usage data must be available and processed
- We need to know what repertoire was used where before we can distribute the royalties
- Money must have been received. We don’t distribute if the money has not yet been received
- There should be no disputes over money received
- Copyright data must be fully available and processed, and there must be an agreement on copyright shares between rightsholders
How and when do we distribute to our members?
We distribute most of the royalties collected within nine months of the end of the year in which it was collected. Except if circumstances beyond BumaStemra’s control prevent it.
If royalties have not been distributed after three years, they will be distributed to members and rightsholders according to a representative allocation key. In exceptional cases, a five-year distribution period applies.
Want to know more about the financial flows at BumaStemra? You can read more in our igital annual report.
Why and how does BumaStemra invest money?
We do our best to distribute royalties to rightsholders as soon as possible. However, there is a certain amount of time between the money coming in and distributing it. Therefore, there is always an amount of money under management at BumaStemra waiting to be distributed. This money is invested by BumaStemra.
We invest this money to generate additional income for BumaStemra. We don’t do this to make a profit for ourselves, but rather to keep the costs for our members as low as possible. The returns from the investments are used by us as an organisation to reduce the cost for members.
How does BumaStemra invest?
We always invest within defined risk standards and in equities and bonds. Wherever possible, investments are made in standard packages consisting of individual, listed funds. Our investment policy is “prudent” – we handle money wisely. We keep investment risks as low as possible. We invest in different diversified funds as much as possible.
The investment policy is approved by BumaStemra’s highest body, the General Members’ Meeting. The Management Board implements this policy together with an external investment manager. You can find more about the investment policy in BumaStemra’s annual reports.