COVID-19 impact on February APRA royalty payment

Thursday, 18 Feb 2021


COVID-19 has impacted our revenue, and royalty payments. This is the second of our COVID impacted distributions, affected by New Zealand re-entering lockdown in August, and operating with significant restrictions, particularly in events and hospitality. The February 2021 APRA royalty payment (which distributes revenue gathered in July-September 2020) overall is down 20% compared to same quarter last year.

The February 2021 royalty payment is a total distributable amount of $7.68 million. This compares relatively well:

  • Year on Year (YOY) decrease of 20%, but 

  • Quarter on Quarter (QOQ) increase of 3% 

Impact on the main New Zealand domestic royalty distribution pools for the July – September 2020 quarter:

  • Digital up 12% YoY and now comprises 35% of the total NZ distribution, up from 25% for the same time last year 

  • Television down 18% YoY

  • APRA’s licence fees from the TV sector have a direct link to the amount of advertising revenue derived by broadcasters.  With the continued onset and uncertainty of COVID over the September quarter, advertising revenue remained down when against the same time last year but showed improvement against the previous quarter.  

  • The TV pool was again impacted by continued reduction in music licence fees from retail, hotels, fitness etc which are in part added to other distribution pools such as commercial TV. Many businesses continued to be closed, or operated in a reduced capacity during the quarter, thereby impacting the amount of revenue that would normally be added to the licence fees paid by commercial TV broadcasts as part of the distribution. 

  • On a positive note, the February distribution payment from the TV sector represented a 72% increase on the previous quarter, which saw major impacts due to COVID related economic pressures 

  • Pay TV was also down, but by a lesser amount than Commercial Television (13% YoY) 

  • Commercial Radio was also down 39YoY for essentially the same reasons as Commercial TV 

  • Fitness continues to perform exceptionally well, up 171 % YoY, thanks primarily to the growth for On Demand Services  

  • Cinema continued to feel the impact of COVID restrictions, and a lack of block buster titles being released, but still returned a pleasing result for the period. The total amount of royalties distributed from cinema in February represents 65% of the 2-year average quarterly royalty payment from this sector  

  • Concert distribution payments were down 61% YoY as a result of exceptionally low activity during the quarter. 

We’ll keep you updated on significant impacts to future APRA royalty payments.

If you would like to read about the impact of Covid-19 on APRA's Australian Feb royalty payments, please head HERE

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