Tips of the Trade: Overseas Performance Reports

Friday, 06 Oct 2017

Now that we are up to speed on the wonderful world of showcasing, what do you need to do next before heading overseas to perform? Probably 500 different things and somewhere on that list, maybe in the 300s, is to complete an Overseas Performance Report after each gig – whether you play in a bar, a bakery, or at Bestival.

Overseas Performance Reports are different from the Live Performance Reports for AU/NZ gigs because they need to be processed through our reciprocal Performing Rights Organisations around the world. So there are a few more layers and some very important nuances involved, but the rule-of-thumb is essentially the same across the different territories: submit a form with detailed information from your live performance as soon as you can after the gig takes place.

Got questions? We have answers.

Q: I am about to go overseas to play shows. Should I do anything for Overseas Performance reports ahead of time?

A: Excellent question! Yes, the #1 thing you should do to save yourself time and prevent payment delays is to make sure you (or your publisher) REGISTER YOUR WORKS. Be precise with your AKAs and encourage any co-writers to become members. It will make the submitting and payment processing much smoother. Seriously, much smoother. Ideally, your work has a unique composer identifier called an ISWC when you file your performance report. Find out more here.

Q: What kind of shows should I file a performance report for?

A: You should submit a performance report for all live performances. However, please note that not all venues are licensed and therefore a foreign society might not be able to collect royalties on your behalf. Your claim might trigger the society to look into licensing a premise, so while your payment might be delayed, it does help the cause overall.

These are performances that do not qualify for claiming:

  • busking
  • religious service
  • private parties/functions

Q: Are any shows too small? It looks like some societies only pay for top grossing concerts.

A: Not at all! While some territories collect for the top tours, there are schemes in place for you to collect your royalties no matter the size. Submit your report, let us collect your royalties.

Q: Is there a deadline for filing my report?

A: Ahh, a trick question! There is not a firm annual deadline for Overseas Performance Reports like there is for your APRA AMCOS reports (submit by 31 July, paid in November), and societies can vary quite a bit. For most territories, you can file reports up to three years prior from the performance date, with a general guideline that it may take up to two years for your payment to be distributed. Refer to this distribution timetable here

IMPORTANT timeframes for US & UK royalties:

There are three PROs in the US: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

  • REMINDER: APRA AMCOS has a reciprocal arrangement with ASCAP, so unless you advise us within 30 days of our notifying you of a first-time US earning, you will be designated to ASCAP. You can nominate BMI or SESAC, but do so within those 30 days or it becomes a bit more complicated.
  • ASCAP: submit to APRA AMCOS by 1 March for all performances in the previous calendar year, e.g. performances between Jan-Dec 2017, will need to be submitted by 1 March 2018. Submit an Overseas Performance Report
  • BMI: Submit your report to APRA AMCOS within 9 months of performance date
  • SESAC: Email us at nz@apra.co.nz with venue information and setlists.

 For the UK:

  • The PRS Gigs and Clubs scheme manages claims for shows at smaller venues, and you can only claim on performances within ONE YEAR of the performance date.

 Q: Do some countries pay more than others?

A: Yes, and it is dependent on the reciprocal society’s pool of payments. Some societies pay per song, and some pay per set. Ask us if you would like to know about a specific country.

Q: I am playing Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, and Fuji Rock. Won’t the promoters be required to submit this information?

A: Generally, festivals provide this information to their country’s society. However, it would not be the first time that a band on a multi-day, jam-packed bill inadvertently gets left off of the reporting. Cover yourself – submit a report!

Q: Should I save any evidence?

A: Absolutely. Save your setlists, screengrab a Facebook event listing, save a festival bill, keep the sign on your dressing room, grab a drink coaster from the pub you played. Supporting evidence is great to have.

Required information that you need to have record of:

  • Venue address
  • Capacity /number of attendees
  • Set list
  • Registered works
  • Time of day you performed
  • Venue or promoter contact

CLASSICAL PERFORMANCES: You must, must, must get a copy of a program for the event. This is a requirement of ASCAP as well as other European societies.

Q: Should I submit cover songs if I played any?

A: Yes, it saves time in the overall claim. Please make note of the original writer in brackets next to song title in your report. You are doing the right thing and ensuring another songwriter gets paid. Karma and all that.

 Q: What else do I need to know?

A: Hopefully, we have covered the key points. But, please, connect with us on email nz@apra.co.nz, or call us on 0800 69 2772 to discuss in greater detail. 

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