More money for music creators: APRA AMCOS reports a record financial year with $471.8m in revenue

Friday, 11 Oct 2019

Digital remains largest revenue source

  • $471.8m group revenue, increase of 12.3%
  • $410.9 million royalties payable to songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies (net distributable revenue), increase of 13.2%
  • $175.4m digital revenue, 30.4% year on year growth
  • $105m audio streaming revenue, 28.2% year on year growth
  • Since FY13, audio streaming revenue increased 4,275%
  • Live music revenue passed $30m mark for first time, 19% year on year growth; 81% growth over a decade
  • 44,892 APRA members earned royalties in Australia; and 16,720 earned overseas royalties
  • Launch of OneMusic Australia streamlines music licensing for businesses

More songwriting and composing royalties were paid to music creators, music publishers and overseas collection societies than ever before by APRA AMCOS, reporting a record-breaking $471.8m in total revenue for the 2018-19 financial year.

In the last decade APRA AMCOS group revenue has climbed 113.4% from the $221.1m reported in 2009-10.

Net distributable revenue of $410.9m in 2018-19 – the amount payable to members and affiliated societies – eclipsed last year’s $362.8m, and rose 13.2%, improving on the previous year-on-year growth of 8.2%.

For the second year in a row, digital is the standout revenue category with $175.4m, delivering 30.4% growth on last year’s results. The revenue generated from digital’s three sub-categories all increased year-on-year:

  • Audio streaming - $105m (up 28.2%)
  • Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) - $26.1m (up 41.8%)
  • Websites and User Generated Content (UGC) - $35.3m (up 61.2%)

Since 2012-13, when audio streaming had its first full financial year impact with $2.4m collected, the category has grown an astonishing 4,275%.

SVOD and websites/UGC combined accounted for the biggest increase of all revenue types in the financial year, with a 52.1% uplift from the previous reporting period. The result is not only a reflection of how music is being consumed and used across digital platforms, but captures the first full financial year since APRA AMCOS’ licensing agreement with Facebook and its affiliated platforms Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger.

Income from radio and television broadcast totalled $126.8m, while public performance sources accounted for $92.4m.

The launch of OneMusic Australia on 1 July 2019 marked a new era of how music is licensed for use in businesses, and coincided with APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston’s first year in the top role.“This year, APRA AMCOS firmly laid the groundwork for how we will better serve our 103,000 members and over 145,000 licensees into the future – by listening to our members, by making life simpler for our licensees and by ensuring a world’s best service culture that is focused on efficiency and transparency,” said Ormston.

Income from live music and concerts passed the $30m benchmark for the first time, an increase of 19% on last year. The growth of live in the past decade is significant: in 2009-10, live music income totalled $16.6m.

Notable tours in 18-19 included Pink’s 42-date Australasian tour with The Rubens supporting on all shows, Taylor Swift’s stadium jaunt with local support from Broods, and Bon Jovi with opening act Birds of Tokyo. Other top performers included Kendrick Lamar, Celine Dion, Post Malone, Phil Collins and the R’N’B Fridays brand.

A record number of APRA AMCOS members earned live performance royalties for the songs they played at gigs of all sizes across Australia and New Zealand. $7.1m was paid to 17,222 members, 15,663 of those unpublished.

44,892 APRA members earned royalties in Australia, with close to one-third earning royalties from their music being played or performed overseas. Revenue from international sources continue to increase annually, with $45.8m APRA revenue reported - up 4.8% on the previous year.

“Australian and New Zealand composers, songwriters and artists are pushing new boundaries and kicking goals in a globally competitive environment and at a time when there is more music content than ever before,” said Ormston.

“It’s so vitally important to support and connect our members to new opportunities and acknowledge their achievements – both locally and globally.

“Whether it’s a Meet the Locals networking event in Darwin, a SongHubs in London or Nashville, or a place on The 1,000,000,000 List – we’re focused on supporting both our new and emerging, and longer career songwriter and composer members.”

That support was brought to life at 259 member and industry events around the world last year that we hosted or were affiliated with. Among the highlights was the expansion of Starting Ground music workshop for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriters and musicians, which was held outside of NSW for the first time. Participants gathered in Kalgoorlie, WA  from as far as 900 kilometres away.

The very first SongHubs to take place in both South America and New York City brought together a dynamic mix of Australian and New Zealand members with the world's top producers, songwriters and topliners. 

The successful launch of EQUALIZE: Music Production Workshops for Women in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane means the one-day workshops will expand to other cities in 2019-20. Another debut event was The Melbourne Sessions in July 2018, which saw over 200 emerging and mid-career songwriters and composers converge for a day of masterclasses and workshops across multiple musical genres. 

We conducted our most thorough membership and stakeholder survey in six years, with feedback from writer members, publisher members, and industry; covering genre, sector, geography, cultural background, and career stage. Satisfaction levels were high across a number of measures, and we will continue communicating with members and stakeholders on how we will respond to the findings

The full 2018-19 Year in Review looks back - and ahead - at advocacy, education, member programs and initiatives, local industry development, live music, export and beyond. 

2018-19 Full Report (PDF)

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