APRA AMCOS announces a bumper year for songwriters thanks to streaming and export

Wednesday, 04 Oct 2017

  • Total royalties payable to songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies (net distributable revenue) $335.9m, 17.7 per cent year on year growth.
  • Streaming royalties $62.2m, 127 per cent year on year growth.
  • Royalties earned overseas $43.5m, 13.6 per cent year on year growth.
  • Video on Demand royalties $14.1m, 69.9 per cent year on year growth.
  • Live music royalties $20.4m, 15.9 per cent year on year growth.

APRA AMCOS today announces yet another year of record royalty collections, driven by exponential streaming growth. Of the $386.6m in revenue, digital royalties contributed $110.3m, an increase of $42.5m on previous year.  

Songwriting royalties paid by music streaming services in Australasia has delivered 546 per cent growth in APRA AMCOS’ revenue in just the last three years. The rapid adoption by New Zealand and Australian consumers eclipses that even of television in the 1950s or mobile phones in the 1990s, both of which presented a licensing changing-of-the-guard for APRA AMCOS at the time.

Brett Cottle, Chief Executive said, “The rise and rise of consumer subscriptions to music and video streaming services was the key factor underpinning our revenue growth during the year. We estimate that there are now nearly four million subscriptions to one or other of these services across Australia and New Zealand.”

Streaming has given New Zealand and Australian songwriters and composers unprecedented access to a global audience. Growth in royalties earned overseas saw 1,576 more APRA members receive a royalty payment in FY 16/17. 18,052 members earned an income from their works being played overseas. APRA members enjoyed a new record of royalties earned from their songs being played/performed overseas - $43.5m, an increase of 13.6 per cent year on year, and a whopping 199.5 per cent growth over five years, proving New Zealand and Australian music export is worthy of investment. Songwriters making an impact on the world stage include Lorde, Sia, Vance Joy, Flume, Joel Little, and Samuel Dixon.

The numbers for New Zealand alone reflect similar growth, with revenue rising 16.5% to $47.9m, with a key part of that revenue growth coming from Public Performance Revenue, which increased 10.2% to reach $14.1m. Streaming revenue in New Zealand increased by an impressive 72.5%, while digital revenue also continues to grow, rocketing up another 66.7% in the last 12 months.

Brett Cottle who will step down in June 2018 after 28 years leading the organisation, said, “The bedrock for all of our licensing and royalty distribution activities remains copyright law. Possible changes to the Act which directly threaten copyright owners’ rights and their ability to monetise such rights mean that a great deal of work needs to be undertaken in these areas in the year ahead.”

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