Income and distribution

Income from tariffs

On the income side, receipts are derived primarily from the licensing of music, films, literature, images, etc. Licensees, that is to say customers, are those who use the works. If only one repertoire is used e.g. music at concerts, the society responsible generally produces its own tariff. If several repertoires are used, e.g. in the private copying of radio or television broadcasts or corporate photocopying, the societies draw up joint tariffs. In a joint tariff, one society always deals with the money collection and acts as the contact point for users.

Ancillary income

The societies aim to generate ancillary income. This arises from investments, or in the case of SUISA, from software licensing. The money is used to meet the administrative costs. As a result, more money is available for distribution from the tariff income.


The collective rights management organisations are non-profit-organisations: after deduction of administrative costs, they distribute the money earned to those whose rights they represent. The money thus goes to numerous rightholders such as musicians, film makers, journalists, authors, publishers, etc. in Switzerland and abroad. Highly accurate distribution ensures that not only world stars but also less successful authors receive their money.

Rough distribution

Before the shares can be distributed among the rightholders, the monies from the joint tariffs are apportioned among the societies involved. Each society then distributes its share to the rightholders whose rights it represents.

Detailed examples can be found on the page money flows.

Distribution to the members

There are essentially two types of distribution for work utilisations: a direct distribution on the work in question and a flat rate distribution.

You can find more on this subject on the distribution page.

Contributions from cultural and social institutions

The contributions from the cultural and social institutions are another form of distribution that go to benefit only the direct (Swiss) members of the five societies.