When you joined APRA you asked us to collect royalties when your songs are performed live in public, this includes when you perform them.

In some instances the person performing the song might also be the songwriter (you!), or there may be co-writers who aren’t performers and in some instances the song may have been written by someone else (if you’re performing a cover). In all cases, when the song is performed live, it’s earning royalties for the songwriter.

Copyright is AUTOMATIC in New Zealand. As soon as you write, record, or otherwise commit your music to a tangible form, it’s automatically protected under copyright law.

So when you perform live a licence fee must be paid by the party authorising the performance so that royalties can be paid to the songwriter(s).

Many venues around New Zealand pay annual licence fees which cover all live performances in their venue, as long as the advertised ticket price is less than $35. If the advertised ticket price is $35 or over, an APRA event licence is required.

There are also a number of venues who do not hold an annual OneMusic licence, instead they obtain a licence for each event which is held on their premises. In some cases the venue will pass that responsibility on to the PROMOTER of the event (ie. the person selling the tickets to the performance).

If you are SELF-PROMOTING a tour (ie. you are selling tickets to your own shows), and your advertised tickets are $35 or over you have three options:

  1. Obtain the relevant APRA event licence
  2. The venue obtains the relevant APRA event licence
  3. You licence back your works for the performance

Obtaining an APRA licence means you are able to play your own songs, but also any songs which involve different songwriters or co-writers, covers of songs by other artists, the songs which a support band may play, or any tracks which a DJ may play.

The licence fee for 2018 is 1.65% + GST of the gross box office.

Here’s how it works:

1. You apply for an Event Licence

2. You provide us with information about the venue where each gig will be performed

3. When the tour has finished, you report back to us with the gross box office revenue/ticket sales, as well as providing a full set list for all the songs which were performed.

4. We invoice you for 1.65% + GST of the gross box office revenue/ticket sales.

5. We retain 11% of this fee as operational costs and then distribute the licence fee to the songwriters of the songs that have been performed on the tour (which will include you!)

Please contact Ben Johnson from the APRA Concerts and Events team for further advice and licence details. or phone 09 623 5398 / 0800 69 2772 extension 798

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