APRA AMCOS releases 2014/15 Year In Review

The country’s largest and oldest copyright collecting society, APRA AMCOS, has reported a record figure for music royalty collections – A$300 million – and noted a 26% increase in royalties received from foreign sources for Australasian music. 

APRA AMCOS’ annual Year in Review website, outlines export revenue data highlighting that the UK and US continue to be our most ardent fans, with Americans preferring to consume our music via radio and the British via television. These two markets again showed a huge appetite for the talents of APRA AMCOS members’ works, together generating two out of every five dollars of total overseas royalty income for the 2014/2015 financial year. Sia Furler, Five Seconds of Summer, Lorde and Vance Joy have enjoyed unprecedented success in these markets.

Denmark, with its population of just six million, brought more than $2 million into export income through Australian television and its programming of Australian music.

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Officer, Brett Cottle, AM said, “After almost 90 years, the core business of APRA AMCOS remains unchanged: to grant licences for the use of music, collect the related royalties and distribute those royalties as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are a business partner to both the creators and the users of music.”

“APRA members’ performing right export earnings during the 2015 financial year, increased an extraordinary 26% to $34 million. This is an outstanding achievement and a direct reflection of the rapid internationalisation of our business. To our members, Nashville is becoming as important as Melbourne, London is becoming as important as Auckland. This phenomenon will dramatically alter the services to our members in the years ahead. Investment in technology has been a major priority to enable us to manage huge volumes of data, expand our business across the globe and better service our members.

“Infringement – and its inherent denial of rightful income to our members – remains an issue in 2015 which we are managing. The Australian Government, to its credit, introduced so-called “site blocking” provisions into the Copyright Act enabling copyright owners to apply to the Court for orders blocking access to illegal or ‘pirate’ sites and we were in support of that.

“Transformation of the digital market from downloads to subscription-streaming services was telling. Twelve months ago, nearly half of digital licensing revenue came from downloads. This financial year, this has dropped to one-third and in the FY16 this is likely to be one-quarter of revenue. Streaming service revenue has well and truly taken over.

“Perhaps the biggest news on the digital front was the launch of Apple Music and we were pleased that our licensing arrangements were completed with Apple shortly before the close of the financial year.

“Video on demand has over the past year become a major factor in the film and TV market in Australia and New Zealand, and will undoubtedly be an increasingly important source of growth in music performing royalties in the years ahead,” said Brett Cottle.

Some other key results announced in our Year in Review:

  • APRA stand-alone net distributable revenue surpassed $200 million (which has doubled over the past decade);
  • Increase in domestic performing right revenue of 5.6% to $195 million;
  • Increase in reproduction right revenue of 2% to $68 million;
  • Increase in group revenue (excluding management fees) of 6.4% to $301 million;
    • Increase in total performing right revenue generated in NZ of 28.5% to NZD $31.1 million;
  • Increase in group net distributable revenue of 6.9% to $262.7 million;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APRA AMCOS membership grew by 8.7%;
  • Increase in the number of musical works paid in distributions from 917,687 to 1,011,262;
  • 7,400 APRA AMCOS members attended 159 APRA AMCOS educational seminars;
  • 20 tonnes of waste saved from landfill compared to 2013, due to the establishment of controlled recycling stations throughout all offices.