Where do music licence fees in Australia go?

OneMusic Australia licence fees go to music creators, minus a small admin cost. A huge team looks at millions of lines of data that come from radio air play, box office reports, songs played on streaming services and TV, song lists from concerts and many more. They match the funds as best they can to the people who own the song.

Where do music licence fees in Australia go?

We care about ensuring the licence fees you pay are distributed (paid out) to the rights holders in the most accurate and cost effective way possible.

OneMusic distributes the fees it collects to APRA AMCOS and PPCA, the bodies behind the licensing initiative. Both entities are the same in that, after the deduction of administration and operational costs, all fees collected are distributed to members, licensors or affiliates according to a range of direct data for film screenings, sample data and other data sources for other uses of music. 

Although separate companies, APRA AMCOS’ and PPCA’s costs to revenue ratio is similar at approximately 14%. This means that around 86 cents in the dollar earned in licence fees collected by APRA AMCOS and PPCA is being paid to each organisation’s rights holders. Those costs compare very favourably to organisations providing the same service overseas.

Under OneMusic, APRA AMCOS and PPCA maintain their own distribution practices and policies, and are available online.

Both APRA AMCOS and PPCA seek to achieve a delicate balance in their distribution practices - a balance between accuracy on the one hand and minimising the administration of our licensees and our costs of processing that would be required in track by track music use reports.

How does OneMusic know which songs are playing?

The following represent the main sources of music data the two organisations use to make their distributions (payments) to music creators.

  • Individual commercial radio and television stations reporting the music they broadcast;
  • Digital download services, digital streaming services and record labels reporting the tracks or CDs they stream, sell and their sales volumes;
  • Services using Music Recognition Technology like Audoo Audio Meters;
  • Data from music providers who supply programmed curated music for specific industries, such as fitness;
  • Background music suppliers who provide us with music reports from their clients’ playlists; and
  • Set lists of musical works performed by artists and musicians at live/dance events and festivals supplied to APRA by event promoters.

Audoo Audio Meters Recognise the Music 

Audoo audio meters better identify the songs being played in public at a micro level – all day and all night – with macro effect.

Over 400 music rights management organisations in the world are watching industry-leading Australian- and New Zealand-based APRA AMCOS and OneMusic.

How to get an Audoo device into your business

A technician will come to your business and install the audio meter into a power point. The audio meter device will recognise what music is playing after just 10 seconds and will securely fingerprint it, with no audio ever being stored on (or sent from) the device. Audoo has a database of over 60 million tracks.

The songs being played are relayed back to Audoo as data (not audio) and each month will be reported to APRA AMCOS (one of the partners behind OneMusic) to ingest the data into their systems.

Catherine Giuliano, Director of OneMusic Australia encourages businesses to put their hand up for the meter to be installed in their space, she says

“for all the times you have wondered if your fees are going to the makers of the exact songs you play in your business, this is the chance to drive that change”.

Who is Audoo?

Music-tech start-up Audoo has financial backers that include ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus. Audoo's CEO and founder, Ryan Edwards (himself a musician) is on a mission to revolutionise public performance royalties.

Audoo is backed by high-profile investors and is supported by an advisory board of industry stakeholders. Four-year-old Audoo has raised a total of nearly AUD$26.8 million in private funding.

The audio meter “is packed with some of the world’s most sophisticated signal processing capabilities, which enable accurate track IDs even in noisy environments”, as reported in PROs Are Quietly Reinventing Themselves — By Potentially Counting Every Single Song Played (Digital Music News)

How does OneMusic pay APRA AMCOS members?

OneMusic Australia is a joint initiative between music rights organisations APRA AMCOS and PPCA in Australia.

OneMusic collects public performance licence fees (royalties), these royalties are then distributed by APRA AMCOS and PPCA.

  • APRA AMCOS looks after public performance royalties to songwriters and music publishers.
  • PPCA looks after public performance royalties to sound recording rights holders e.g. record labels and recording artists.

These two companies have their own ways of distributing their share of royalties to their members and licensors.

The Audoo rollout means APRA AMCOS will adjust how it splits its share of royalties, essentially a change in the algorithm based on data from real-time businesses in the Australian marketplace.

Are song licensing fees different?

Licensing fees for the use of songs in public are different in every country and different by industry. If you purchase a blanket licence from a music rights organisation to use their catalogue of music your fee would be different to the brand that wants to use one single song in a television advertisement.