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Aus/NZ live royalties up—but govt support lacking

Public performance payments in Australasia exceeded the global average in 2015–16, but APRA AMCOS says they could have been higher if not for "short-sighted" governments

By IQ on 20 Oct 2016

Brett Cottle, APRA AMCOS

APRA AMCOS's CEO, Brett Cottle

Collection society APRA AMCOS, which represents over 87,000 members in Australia and New Zealand, paid out more than A$70 million in public performance royalties in the 2015–2016 financial year.

A significant minority of the money – 6.8% more than in 2014–15 – was collected from the ~142,000 business licensed by the organisation to host live music, and well exceeds the global benchmark of growth of 3.8%, as illustrated in CISAC’s 2016 annual report. Media licensing (digital, recorded, broadcast and other licences), from television networks, video-on-demand services, streaming services, radio stations, etc., makes up 78.75% of the revenue pool and also showed marked growth.

“Our international revenue figures reflect the continuing extraordinary success of Australian and New Zealand music around the world,” comments APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association/Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners’ Society) CEO Brett Cottle AM.

“It continues to aggravate, surprise and disappoint that governments on both sides of the Tasman fail to treat music as a commercial art form worthy of support”

“Over the past three years, export revenue has increased by 75% to more than $38m. This figure, of course, only represents the writer share of performing rights, and when publisher shares along with mechanical and synch rights are factored in, the value of songs to both countries’ export incomes is clearly significant and growing. During this time Australian and New Zealand songwriters have created some of the most performed music on the planet: Lorde, Gotye, Sia, Flume, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Troye Sivan and a generation of writers who see their audience and market in global, rather than local, terms.

“And yet it continues to aggravate, surprise and disappoint that governments on both sides of the Tasman fail to treat music as a commercial art form worthy of support or investment at a level that is reasonable and proportionate to other creative art forms. Even the most modest programs – delivering obvious and major benefits – such as Sounds Australia [the export office which recently lost its public funding] and the Live Music Office, have come under short-sighted and ill-informed threat. It’s long past time that governments and their advisors woke up and listened to the music.”


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