Digital revenue eclipses broadcast in APRA AMCOS’ record-setting financial year results

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2018

Audio streaming plays a  key  role in more members earning royalties for more songs than ever before

  • Group revenue of A$420.2m surpasses the A$400m milestone for the first time
  • NZ APRA AMCOS revenue NZ$51m
  • Total royalties payable to songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies (net distributable revenue) A$362.8m, 8.2% year on year growth
  • Digital revenue A$134.5m, 21.9% year on year growth
  • Broadcast revenue A$132.6m, 5.8% year on year growth
  • Audio streaming revenue A$81.9m, 31.9% year on year growth
  • Royalties earned overseas A$43.7m, marking a 105% growth over a five year period
  • NZ live music revenue NZ$3.5m, 29.6% year on year growth
  • Total members who earned royalties 47,648

A robust digital market continues to open up pathways for Australasian music creators, resulting in a record-breaking year of royalty collections for APRA AMCOS’ 2017-18 financial year. Of the A$420.2m total group revenue, New Zealand’s revenue accounted for NZ$51m.

Royalties were paid on 10% more songs and compositions than last year, with 1,441,485 works generating earnings for 47,648 songwriter, composer and publisher members. 

Income generated from digital sources has surpassed that of radio and TV broadcast for the first time, with healthy growth continuing across those respective categories.

Digital as a whole accounted for a staggering A$134.5m—nearly a third of all revenue—with A$81.9m in audio streaming income making up the bulk. Digital grew 21.9% from the previous year’s figure of A$110.3m. Income sources categorised as digital include audio streaming (up 31.9%), video-on-demand (up 30.5%) and websites and User Generated Content (UGC) (up 30.4%).

The growth in UGC royalties can be attributed to APRA AMCOS’ landmark licensing agreement with Facebook, which opened up a game-changing revenue stream that will see Australian, New Zealand and international songwriter and music publishers remunerated for the use of their music on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger. The deal also  enables the platform’s  users  to incorporate  music into content in  a variety of  dynamic  and, importantly, legal ways. 

“This year’s results  highlight  the  strength of the  organisation’s financial performance, breadth of member service, and  commitment  to improving our industry’s  ecosystem,” remarked Chief Executive Dean Ormston, who stepped into  the role  on 1 July, following longtime CEO Brett  Cottle’s  retirement.  

Earnings from television and radio, A$85.7m and A$46.9m, respectively, combined for A$132.6m in revenue, while the income from public performance (including live music) totaled A$85.8m, an increase of 10.4% from last year’s figure. OneMusicNZ performed well in its fifth year, with revenue of NZ$15.3, marking an 11.3% uplift.

Live music is a vital part of the music ecosystem, and New Zealand’s NZ$3.5m in live music revenue increased an impressive 29.6% on the previous year, with group live music revenue of A$25.3m up 24%. Over one million fans attended Ed Sheeran’s blockbuster Australia and New Zealand tour, which featured local support acts Mitch James, Six60, Drax Project and Lost Bird on the Auckland and Dunedin dates.

APRA revenue from international sources has grown an impressive 105% over the past five financial years, with A$43.7m collected in 2017-18. Digital distribution, music service uptake, and the globalisation of the music marketplace have made for more viable international pathways for Australasian songwriters, a statement that can be supported by a tremendous increase in the number of overseas concert performances reported by members. In 2012, 2,845 performances were submitted to APRA AMCOS, in 2017, 7,095 reports were received, marking a 149% uplift over the period.

New Zealand’s international trailblazers Katchafire celebrated their 20th anniversary with an intrepid 69 date world tour, while Lorde wowed crowds and won hearts worldwide on her 70 date Melodrama tour. Flight of the Conchords were warmly welcomed back to the UK with 13 sold out arena shows, and rising stars Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams, Tami Neilson and Drax Project are just a few of the other members making an impact on the global scene.

“From the incredible collaborations at SongHubs Sphere to the growth of OneMusicNZ, to fostering international opportunities and beyond, supporting and empowering our members so they can succeed and sustain creative careers is what drives our organisation,” said Anthony Healey, Head of Operations, APRA AMCOS New Zealand.

Read the full 2017-18 Report
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