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From collection to distribution

Income from media

Sena manages the rights of over 33,000 musicians and producers who are registered with Sena.  These music creators are entitled to payment when their music is played in a commercial setting. We regularly receive questions about the where the money comes from and what Sena does with income we collect. In this section, we focus on some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Part 1: How does Sena generate its income? Here we highlight how it works for broadcasters and other income, such as new media.

Sena's income comes from four main sources:

  • Income from broadcasters, such as radio stations and television channels
  • Other income, such as from new media
  • Income from general licences, such as bars and restaurants
  • International income

In this section, let’s take a closer look at the first two sources of income: income from broadcasters and other income. Do you want to know more about income from general licences or international income? You can find more information in part two and part three.


Income from broadcasters

First, we focus on income from radio stations and television channels. They pay a fee to Sena for permission to play music as part of their programming. Under their agreement, they must provide Sena with a playlist so that we know what music has been played. There are different types of broadcasters:

  • Radio stations and TV channels from public broadcasters (national, regional and local)
  • Radio stations and TV channels from commercial broadcasters, such as RTL and 538
  • Background music suppliers, such as Mood Media and Xenox

How do we determine what these broadcasters pay? A national public broadcaster pays a lump sum per year as a single party. The same applies for regional and local public broadcasters. Commercial broadcasters pay an amount based on a percentage of their income. And background music suppliers pay an amount per playback point, for example per restaurant or shop.

Other income

In addition to income from broadcasters, Sena also receives income for cable transmission, new media and dance events. This income is known as other income. Companies such as KPN and Ziggo pay for the transmission of broadcaster's programmes that are not primarily aimed in the Netherlands via cable, satellite and fibre optic transmission. This is also called cable retransmission.

New media includes income from webcasting (music from internet-only radio stations), narrowcasting (background music via streaming and satellite) and podcasting (a recording of a radio broadcast). Note: streaming on YouTube or Spotify does not fall under new media. Music producers have direct agreements with YouTube, Spotify and others. Sena doesn’t receive any income for this.

Finally, income from dance events, specifically events that play electronic music. The organisers pay Sena an amount based on a percentage of the income from ticket sales for the event.