FAQs

Customer Service

Why do I need a OneMusic licence?

Firstly, it shows that your organisation respects and supports songwriters and recording artists - creators of Australian culture. Secondly, if you use copyright music within your business, Commonwealth legislation requires permission (a licence) from the creators of that music. And last but not least - you benefit by using music: keeping your patrons entertained, engaged and creating a better atmosphere.

In Australia music creators generally authorise two organisations to administer their rights - APRA AMCOS (composers and music publishers) and PPCA (recording artists and record labels). A OneMusic licence bundles all those rights into one licence that further simplifies the process of gaining the required permission to use music. Without this licence you would, for example, need to deal directly with the composers, songwriters, music publishers, recording artists and record labels who own the rights in the music you wish to use.

You can get independent legal information at copyright.org.au.

BRUCE ROWLAND

If your organisation wishes to publicly perform Bruce Rowland’s works in Australia in any context whatsoever (other than by showing films) you will need to seek the appropriate clearances directly from Mr Rowland’s representatives (as of 1 January 2017). For a full list of Mr Rowland's works, click here.

Where does the money 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. All fees quoted include GST.

Although separate companies, in the financial year 2018/2019 APRA AMCOS’ and PPCA’s costs to revenue ratio was 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.

The following represent the main sources of music data the two organisations use to make their distributions 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 digital fingerprinting and audio-recognition to match performances/broadcasts to their databases;
  • 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.

How are licence fees set and how much do they cost?

The rates for the use of music under OneMusic licence schemes have been set following consultation and negotiation with user groups. We have established different licence schemes for different ways those industries use music.

Rates have been determined in general by reference to the nature and type of music use. That is, in our view the value of music to a nightclub (a business that attracts customers predominantly on the basis of the music it plays) is very different to the value of music to a café. Our fees are therefore segmented to different industry types in order to appropriately differentiate rates.

In addition, the rate needs to be scalable – for example we do not believe that all other things being equal, a small retail outlet should pay the same fee as a large department store, or a small country pub the same as a large city hotel. From this starting point, in very broad terms where the music use is intrinsic to the business, our rates tend to be higher and linked to patronage (for example by reference to attendance, capacity, class numbers or box office takings). At the other end of the spectrum, rates will be linked to another metric that is easily ‘measured’ by the business and verifiable by us – for example the size of the business in metres squared.

We publish a series of information sheets to all of our industry specific licence schemes on this website.

Note that where we refer to quarterly invoices for accounts we calculate the per day fee by the exact number of days in the a three month period not your total annual fee divided by four, so you will see that:

  • September – November quarter is 91 days
  • December – February quarter is 90 days because leap years are not counted as an extra day
  • March – May quarter and the June – August quarter are both 92 Days

What music can I use?

We’ve done the hard work for you so our licence allows you to use the majority of commercially released music from anywhere around the world.

Business owners can make a decision to use our music or not. We accept that there is a small percentage of businesses who do not wish to have our music playing because they claim it costs too much and of course, no licence is required in these cases.

As a safeguard, we believe it is wise to advise us immediately if you use music in your business in any way so we can advise if you need a licence from OneMusic. This applies to all areas of your business – office, warehouse, front reception area, retail space, yards and outdoor areas.

Why do I need a licence when I have a streaming service?

You may need a licence from OneMusic because your commercial/business use may not be covered by your digital music service supplier.

Apple Music for Business subscribers can play music in a commercial space without breaking Apple’s Terms and Conditions. This service launched in Australia in 2019.

If you are not an Apple Music for Business subscriber, have a look at the terms and conditions of your personal digital music service end-user agreement. Almost all digital music services operating in Australia and New Zealand strictly state their service is for PERSONAL and DOMESTIC use only.

Because some personal digital music services are licensed by rights holders for just that purpose – PERSONAL and DOMESTIC use – and therefore do not cover your use of music in your business, if you have chosen to use these personal digital music services you will require the appropriate coverage from OneMusic so that you do not infringe our copyright – for example the relevant background music package and digital copy/delivery if you are a hotel, or a Gold package (which provides you with the necessary cover under a single fee) if you are a retailer or dining establishment.

The use of such personal digital music services itself by your business may still be in breach of the terms and conditions of your end user agreement with that service. Because these permissions are actually not controlled by OneMusic all we can do is suggest you contact your personal digital music service provider to discuss with them how you are using their service in your business.

See Myths about Streaming: www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/3-myths-music-streaming-3-truths-music-industry-today/

How do I amend my account?

For amendments such as changes to music use, change of ownership or change of legal entity contact us at hello@onemusic.com.au or phone 1300 162 162.

If your business has been affected by a disaster such as fire, flood, storm or drought, or if wish to request extended payment terms due to hardship, please contact our Customer Support team on 1300 162 162 or email hello@onemusic.com.au to discuss options and put your account on hold, pending an update of the situation.

Can I set up a payment plan?

Yes you can.

OneMusic provides quarterly invoices for accounts where licence fees are in excess of $500 per year, however if this is not suitable and you are experiencing financial difficulties, all you need to do is email hello@onemusic.com.au and request a payment extension or payment plan. Your account will be reviewed by our Credit Team, and based on the balance owing and the time frame involved we will get back to you with some options to help you through any difficulties.

Note that where we refer to quarterly invoices for accounts we calculate the per day fee by the exact number of days in the a three month period not your total annual fee divided by four, so you will see that:

  • September – November quarter is 91 days
  • December – February quarter is 90 days because leap years are not counted as an extra day
  • March – May quarter and the June – August quarter are both 92 Days

How do I cancel my account?

If you have ceased trading, if you no longer wish to use OneMusic’s musical works, sound recordings or music videos in your business, or have entered into alternative licence arrangements for some of the rights represented by OneMusic, please complete our Licence Cancellation Request form.

How do I contact OneMusic?

If you wish to speak with our friendly team, contact us at hello@onemusic.com.au, via live chat or call us on 1300 162 162

Do I have to go through OneMusic to play music in my business?

The OneMusic licence provides the easiest and most cost effective way to access the world’s repertoire of music. There are other options, which may include direct licensing arrangements with copyright owners or solely using music outside the OneMusic repertoire.

If you make a direct arrangement for only your sound recording use or only your musical work use, contact OneMusic Australia so we can adjust your licence fee, as applicable.

BRUCE ROWLAND

If your organisation wishes to publicly perform Bruce Rowland’s works in Australia in any context whatsoever (other than by showing films) you will need to seek the appropriate clearances directly from Mr Rowland’s representatives (as of 1 January 2017). For a full list of Mr Rowland's works, click here.

General

What music can I use under my OneMusic licence?

A OneMusic licence covers the use of APRA AMCOS musical works and sound recordings and PPCA sound recordings and music videos according to the type of cover you require. While the repertoire of OneMusic is vast and extensive, the use of some music does not require our licence:

  • Music not represented by OneMusic, commonly called royalty free (we note that royalty free music when compared to the OneMusic repertoire is a mere fraction of size and of course will not include the popular music that your customers, clients or patrons know and love).
  • Music in the public domain – that is the music is out of copyright protections because the composers died AND the recording was first released more than 70 years ago.

Some other music sources may only require partial cover, and for most of our rates, we offer a partial reduction discount.  This may occur when ALL:

  • the sound recordings you use are unprotected sound recordings
  • the music you use is in the public domain for all composers or all sound recordings

although we note that in our experience these scenarios are rare, and

  • all music you play comes through a radio or television set playing traditional terrestrial channels
  • all the recordings are re-records of songs by a company not a member of PPCA
  • all the music is source licensed for one of APRA AMCOS’ or PPCA’s rights

OneMusic licences also have certain restrictions on them including for example, limited use under the Website cover, and not including the performance of musicals, operettas and ballets (also known as Grand Right works). To use this type of music, you need to get permission DIRECT from the rights holder and we can assist in researching who you need to liaise with.

If you believe you may not require a licence from OneMusic or are entitled to a partial rights discount please contact us via hello@onemusic.com.au so we can confirm.

What sound recordings are covered by PPCA?

PPCA’s repertoire is made up of all of the sound recordings and/or music videos owned or controlled in Australia by its licensors and the labels they control. As at July 2019 the number of labels registered with PPCA exceeds 55,000. The repertoire expands to cover new sound recordings as they are released by PPCA’s licensors. Given the sheer volume of sound recordings controlled by its licensors it is impractical to publish a list of tracks included in the repertoire. However a list of PPCA’s licensors and the labels they control are available here http://www.ppca.com.au/labels/list-of-current-licensors/. The licensors and labels are made up of thousands of Australian recording artists and labels, both local and international, majors and independents. These licensors have granted PPCA a non-exclusive right to license businesses to play protected sound recordings and music videos.  

The Copyright Act protects certain sound recordings for public performance. PPCA’s public performance licence covers all ‘protected recordings’ within its repertoire. Some recordings released in Australia (and within PPCA’s repertoire) are not protected and a licence is not required to publicly perform those sound recordings. Working out whether or not a recording is protected may require the application of complex provisions of the Copyright Act to determine and require an understanding of:

1. the country where the recording was made;
2. the nationality and residence of everyone performing on the recording (including all session musicians);
3. the country where the recording was first released;
4. the date of the first release; and
5. the age of the recording.

A list of ‘protected countries’ can be found here http://www.ppca.com.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/Schedule%203%20Countries[2].pdf. The United States is not a ‘protected country’. However recordings made in the United States (or by US citizens) can still be considered ‘protected’ under the Copyright Act if one of the criteria above is met.  Eg: a track recorded by an Australian or British artist in the United States for release in Australia and elsewhere is likely to be protected and a public performance licence required.

As a general statement, recordings made in territories such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Canada are usually protected and a licence is required to play these recordings in public. All music videos are protected recordings and all sound recordings used as telephone on hold music are protected.

If you have any questions regarding the scope of PPCA repertoire, please contact PPCA  http://www.ppca.com.au/Contact/

Where do my OneMusic licence fees go?

We care about ensuring that 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 or licensors.

Although separate companies, in the financial year 2018/2019 APRA AMCOS’ and PPCA’s costs to revenue ratio was 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 are always seeking to achieve a delicate balance in their distribution practices - a balance between accuracy on the one hand and minimising the administration that would be required in track by track music use reports that businesses would have to submit.

The following represent the main sources of music data the two organisations use to make their distributions to music creators:

  • Individual commercial radio and television stations reporting the music they broadcast;
  • Digital download services and record labels reporting the tracks or CDs they sell and their sales volumes;
  • Services using Music Recognition Technology like digital fingerprinting and audio-recognition to match performances/broadcasts to their databases;
  • 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.

Why don’t you distribute (pay) a royalty amount for EVERY song I’m playing in my business?

OneMusic obtains performance information where it is reasonable to do so. It would be unreasonable for us to require a small business like a fitness centre to report every song they play. Where we don’t ask for music use information, we distribute licence fees to proxy (representative) sources such as radio airplay, personal digital music services, television broadcast logs, ARIA chart data and from music recognition technology. 

My business is facing hardship, is there fee relief available?

If your business has been affected by a disaster such as fire, flood, storm or drought, or you are facing financial hardship, please contact our Customer Support team on 1300 162 162 or email hello@onemusic.com.au to discuss options to put your account on hold, pending an update of the situation.

What if a business is using music illegally? Who can I advise?

All businesses that use our music should be licensed. If you believe that a business is using music illegally, please let us know and we will follow it up. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call 1300 162 162 and advise details without your caller ID being recorded.

I have paid for the music so why do I need a OneMusic licence?

Buying music, subscribing to music services, or turning on a radio or TV does not provide the rights to use this music in a commercial or public setting. You have paid for the ‘hardware,’ not the performance of what is on/in that hardware to the public.

A public performance is deemed to be a performance outside the private or domestic domain (i.e. home, private car, hotel room or hospital room). Playing music on the beach is categorised as a private eventfor instance, but a centenary parade in a regional town is a public event under our definition. A 21st birthday held at a nightclub or a hall, and where the party goers dance to the music played by DJs is also a public event. 

Music is sold for private/domestic use, so any use of this music by a business or organisation is a public performance that requires licensing. The same rule applies whether you have purchased a physical CD, bought a digital download or stream music through a subscription service.

Do I need a OneMusic licence if I only play music from overseas?

We love it when our Australian songs are performed at the Wembley stadium in London, or in the music halls of Nashville; in fact APRA AMCOS and PPCA, the bodies behind OneMusic, are part of initiatives to boost the export of Australian music to the world and improve our balance of trade.

You will be glad to know that you can still obtain a licence from OneMusic if you only play overseas music because OneMusic represents a worldwide catalogue of music on behalf of APRA AMCOS and PPCA via their membership or rights input agreements and their agreements with collecting societies worldwide.

For example, The MusicLicence (an operation similar to OneMusic Australia) administers Courtney Barnett’s rights in the UK, which means that royalties for performances of her music in that territory are appropriately licensed and paid back to the relevant rights holders, just as OneMusic administers Ed Sheeran’s rights in Australia for distribution to his relevant rights holders.

I only play free-to-air TV or radio. Do I need a licence from OneMusic?

Yes. Music on free-to-air TV or radio played in your business is a public performance of that music and protected under the Copyright Act. This needs permission from the copyright owners of the music and a OneMusic licence provides this permission. The performance of sound recordings from traditional radio or TV broadcasts is not subject to copyright protection** and accordingly we either have separate rates or there are discounts available to our standard rates in many cases if that is the only music source you use at your business.

The separate broadcast licences held by radio and TV stations cover their broadcast of that music, but not your public performance of the music they broadcast.

** This doesn’t apply if for example you’re playing a traditional station like Triple J from an online source like Tune-in, Sonos or one of the ABC’s own apps.

What is copying? Why do I have a copying fee when I have a digital music service?

We encourage digital music services such as Spotify and Apple Music to create a product that is licensed for both domestic and business use. When these products come to market this will remunerate our rights holders in one simple transaction rather than in two transactions as is the case today (one payment to our rights holders for domestic use and thousands of payments from individual businesses for commercial use).

Our approach with applying a copying fee to digital music service users in a commercial setting is exactly the same approach adopted when CDs came to market. It is about covering all rights in all settings.

CDs launched with a copyright notice “Unauthorised copying, public performance or broadcasting of this record is strictly prohibited”. This did not mean a business could not ‘publicly perform’ a CD. It just meant that they simply require a licence from PPCA and APRA AMCOS (now OneMusic) to do so. 

Why do I need to pay more to OneMusic to use a Personal Digital Music Service?

You may need a licence because your commercial/business use may not be covered by your supplier.

Apple Music for Business subscribers can play music in a commercial space without breaking Apple’s Terms and Conditions. This service launched in Australia in 2019.

Have a look at the terms and conditions of your digital music service end-user agreement. You will see that almost all digital music services (other than Apple Music for Business) operating in Australia and New Zealand strictly state their service is for PERSONAL and DOMESTIC use only.

The separate communication licences held by digital music services with us cover their communication of that music for this PERSONAL and DOMESTIC use but not any public performance of that music in your business.

If you have chosen to use a digital music service as background music, you must obtain both an APRA licence to authorise the public performance and an AMCOS licence to authorise the communication or copying of the music (see WHAT IS COPYING?) as well as a licence from PPCA to clear the rights in the use of sound recordings. This is all under the OneMusic Australia umbrella.

See Myths about Streaming: www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/3-myths-music-streaming-3-truths-music-industry-today/

Why is it cheaper to get a licence in other jurisdictions like NZ?

Rates for the use of music have developed independently across multiple jurisdictions – there is no standard rate for music played in a hotel, or music on hold in the UK, USA or Australia. Every market has different rates which should come as no surprise to you. Some Australian rates are above rates overseas (e.g. nightclub dance use), but other rates are below (e.g. live music performances). The nightclub rate – unlike, so far as we are aware, has occurred anywhere else – was considered and determined by the Australian Copyright Tribunal on an independent basis after hearing evidence and arguments from both copyright owners and music users.

I’ve been told that if I only use FoxSports I do not need a OneMusic licence, is that right?

No. There are music licences in place with FoxSports and other similar service providers, but they only cover the service’s use of music not their customers’ use. Your business’ public performance of that music is an additional use that requires a separate licence from OneMusic.

Is OneMusic a government body?

No. OneMusic is a joint initiative of APRA AMCOS and PPCA who collects royalties on behalf of those who create the music.

Where can I find a list of National Event Promoters?

The list is available here and identifies those promoters who have Promoted Music Event blanket licences and account directly to OneMusic for all shows in their tours.

Copyright 101

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a federal law governed by the Copyright Act (1968). The Act exists to ensure that people who make creative content (musical, literary or dramatic works, and sound recordings and films) are able to protect their content.

What does the Copyright Act do?

It grants creators and copyright owners a number of exclusive rights. When a work is committed to a physical form, or a recording or film is made you need permission from the creators and/or copyright owners in the content to perform in public, adapt, communicate, publish or reproduce it. If someone uses copyright protected content without permission or a licence they are infringing the owner’s rights.

How long does copyright last & what is public domain?

The combined OneMusic Australia licence simplifies the process of gaining the required permission to use music.

APRA AMCOS represents the rights in the song and PPCA represents the rights in the sound recording and music video when it comes to a business performing, communicating or reproducing music. When a song is written, the composer is the copyright owner of the work. The life of copyright in Australian territories is 70 years, which means that the composer, their publisher or their estate is entitled to receive royalties for their work for up to 70 years from the date of their death (or in the case of a co-written work, 70 years from the death of the last surviving writer). Once the 70 years has passed, the work is then in the Public Domain which means it can be used without a fee and without requiring permission from the composer or their estate. However, if someone makes an arrangement of a work in the public domain (e.g. a version of the 1812 Overture for the ukulele) then that arrangement of the work is protected. If you would like to check the status of any work please enquire via the APRA AMCOS Research Form.

For the recording, it remains in copyright for 70 years from the date it was first released in Australia. For subsequent newly made recordings (e.g. an older recording that is digitally re-recorded), the period starts again.

This means that a piece of music may be out of copyright for the work (because the composer’s death occurred more than 70 years ago) but in copyright for the recording because a new version, recorded by a different musician, was made more recently. Just as there may be a recording from more than 70 years ago that is out of copyright but because the composer lived for a further period, the work remains in copyright. In either case, the use of that music will require a licence directly from the copyright owner or a licence from APRA AMCOS or PPCA through OneMusic if it is represented by either organisation.

More information can be found here:

I heard all recordings by US artists are not protected by copyright?

Some music customers are under the misunderstanding that all recordings by US artists are unprotected and can therefore be played without the need for a licence. This is not correct. Many sound recordings made by US artists are protected. Every performer contributing to a sound recording (including backing musicians and session musicians) is also considered a “maker” of that sound recording, and if any of them are residents or nationals of protected countries (e.g. the UK, Canada, Australia or any European territories), then the sound recording will be automatically protected. If all of the makers are US artists, but the recording was made outside the US, those recordings are also protected. 

When a recording is released is it automatically protected?

Overseas recordings may attract a period of interim protection following release, and may be protected wherever they were made from the date of first commercial release until the earlier of seven weeks after release (or the date of release in Australia).

Can I use a copyright work, as long as I credit the owner?

You can use a copyright work, as long as you obtain PERMISSION from the owner, or a rights management organisation like OneMusic and come to an agreement on remuneration. You CANNOT simply credit them.

Musicians' wages are generated through ongoing payments for the use of their works – it’s their livelihood.  You wouldn’t accept payment by your employer through a weekly “thank you” in lieu of a pay cheque and neither should songwriters and recording artists.

What happens to the royalties of musicians who have passed away?

When a songwriter or recording artist has passed away, arrangements are put in place so that their royalties are paid to a nominated “successor(s) in title” – generally a family member.  Royalties, according to use, are paid for 70 years from the death of the composer and/or 70 years from the date of release of the recording.

How much can I use of a song without having to pay for a licence?

None. There are many myths relating to music copyright. The most common myth we hear is “as long as you only use a small portion of a song, you can use it for free”. The reality is that even the use of a small portion, especially if the playing of the excerpt is identifiable, requires a licence. It is not our experience that businesses want to use music in this way to serve their customers, they want access to as broad a catalogue of music as possible.

What is OneMusic Australia

What is OneMusic Australia?

OneMusic Australia is an APRA AMCOS and PPCA joint licensing initiative launched in 2019.

OneMusic Australia offers joint public performance licences so there is no longer any need for separate licence agreements and invoices from PPCA and APRA AMCOS. The new organisation allows music users to more seamlessly meet their copyright obligations for the public performance of musical works, sound recordings and music videos. 

Is OneMusic a government body?

No. OneMusic is a joint initiative of APRA AMCOS and PPCA that collects royalties on behalf of those who create the music.

What is APRA AMCOS?

APRA AMCOS is the trading name of APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) and AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society). APRA AMCOS grants licences for the live performance, broadcast, communication, public playing and reproduction of its members’ musical works. APRA AMCOS then distributes the net licence fees collected to its 103,000+ songwriter, composer and music publisher members and affiliated societies worldwide.

What is PPCA?

PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd) grants licences for the broadcast, communication or public playing of recorded music (such as CDs, records and digital downloads or streams) and music videos. PPCA then distributes the net licence fees collected to its licensors (generally record labels) and registered recording artists.

What is ARIA?

ARIA means Australian Recording Industry Association Limited.

ARIA Sound Recordings means the sound recordings controlled by ARIA listed which are listed on the ARIA website, the rights for which ARIA has authorised OneMusic Australia to administer.

What's the connection between OneMusic Australia and OneMusic New Zealand?

OneMusic Australia is a joint licensing initiative between APRA AMCOS Australia and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). OneMusic NZ is a joint licensing initiative between APRA AMCOS NZ and Recorded Music NZ. RMNZ represent record labels and recording artists for the public performance of sound recordings. 

What is the Collecting Societies’ Code of Conduct and how does it impact OneMusic?

The Code of Conduct is an initiative of APRA AMCOS, PPCA and other Australian collecting societies, developed with the support of the Federal Government. It aims to promote awareness of copyright and collecting societies, to set service standards for our dealings with copyright holders and licensees, and to ensure that accessible and fair procedures are available for the handling of complaints and the resolution of disputes. 

The Code reflects the standards of service OneMusic offers in its dealings with licensees and copyright holders. 

In particular: 

  • We aim to be fair, honest, courteous and transparent
  • We make available information about the benefits of and responsibilities involved in obtaining a OneMusic licence, and generally about the types of licences we offer to users of sound recordings and music videos.

Code Compliance by participating collecting societies with the Code’s standards of conduct is the subject of an independent annual review. OneMusic's conduct is reviewed alongside APRA AMCOS.

Read the Code here.

Find out more about the Code, including all documents relating to collecting societies’ compliance with the Code here.

Is OneMusic a form of regulator?

No. OneMusic is an initiative of APRA AMCOS and PPCA. APRA AMCOS and PPCA are music rights management organisations.

See “What is APRA AMCOS” and “What is PPCA?”

Without OneMusic as a “one-stop shop”, those commercial enterprises and workplaces that use music would be required to obtain permission from the copyright owners of every single song they use each year. 

Most people understand that the Government appoints regulators for certain industries such as banking. OneMusic as a Music Rights Management Organisation has not been appointed as a regulator in any way. Rather, OneMusic applies the jurisdiction of the Copyright Act 1968 to license businesses for use of their rights holders’ property (music works and sound recordings) commercially.

 

Is APRA AMCOS (one of the bodies behind OneMusic) operating as a law unto itself?

APRA AMCOS  is authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and complies with the Collecting Society Code of Conduct which is administered by an independent Code Reviewer. The Code is designed to ensure that the rights of all members and licensees are clearly stated, and that the operations of collecting societies are transparent and accessible. 

Do APRA AMCOS and PPCA represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists?

Use of songs and recordings by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are covered when the songwriter and/or artist is represented by APRA AMCOS and PPCA the bodies behind OneMusic. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are eligible for membership on the basis of their song and/or recording being publicly performed, and are encouraged to join. APRA AMCOS and PPCA represent around 1,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. 

Music Licensing Basics

So what are my chances the recording I am using needs a licence?

When you look at all the factors at play (how is the recording being used; who made the recording; where the track was recorded; the release date and whether that was more than 70 years ago; the country of first release; the names of everyone who performed on the recordings and their citizenship or residency at the date the recording was made etc) - it is extremely rare that a sound recording you wish to use would be protected without a OneMusic blanket licence or going direct to the copyright owners.

If you wish to determine whether or not a particular recording is protected it is wise to seek your own independent legal advice. 

Do I need a OneMusic licence if I only play royalty-free music?

In our view OneMusic licence schemes offer greater value for money as original and recognisable recordings specifically tuned to the demographics of your customer base to create a better atmosphere, attract and keep patrons and increase sales.

The use of directly-licensed music (also known as royalty-free music) may or may not need a licence from OneMusic depending on whether it is JUST the sound recording that is not represented. 

If we represent the song (but NOT the sound recording) a OneMusic licence may be available at a discounted rate.

Such libraries of music tend to be smaller in size and represent a small fraction of the OneMusic catalogue. This style of music can be easily identified by your customers and there may be an impact on your turnover as your customers spend less time or less money at your business based on this subliminal music cue.

It has been our experience that what appears to be directly-licensed music is not, and often does require a licence from the copyright owner or OneMusic. If you are unsure if the music you are playing is royalty-free or not, you can contact us on hello@onemusic.com.au to provide details of your royalty-free music suppliers, and we can advise.

How often/how long do I need to pay a OneMusic licence for?

You need a OneMusic licence as long as you continue to use our music. The licence will renew automatically each year, and we may ask you for updated music use details to ensure you are appropriately covered. The only exception is our range of event licences, which are issued on a case-by-case basis for the performance.

If your annual licence fee is more than $500 you have the choice to pay on a quarterly basis (with no interest) or you can choose to pay annually.

If you no longer need our licence (that is if you cease to use our music), you can terminate with two months' notice to us. OneMusic licences are not transferrable, so, if you have taken over a business or changed your ABN/ACN then a new OneMusic licence is required.

Where is the transparency in how licence fees are set?

There is an entire section on the OneMusic website dedicated to hosting Information Guides describing our current fee structures in as simple language as possible to licensees, as well as the more detailed licence agreements themselves. Of course for any licensee that still has questions they can access our Live Chat or call us on 1300 162 162. 

The rates for the use of music under OneMusic licences were set following consultation and negotiation with licensees or their industry body. We have established different licence schemes for different industries so that they reflect the different use of music in those industries. Therefore, for example, the rate for a nightclub is different to the rate for a retail outlet. 

Licensees or their industry body can access OneMusic’s independent alternative dispute resolution service, Resolution Pathways or have matters considered by the Copyright Tribunal if they consider the rates to be unfair or unreasonable. 

What is the basic formula upon which the business fees are developed, not the costs per metre or costs per speaker or device but what is the very basic formula. For example, how did OneMusic come up with the amount per metre?

Rates have been determined in general by reference to the nature and type of music use. That is, in our view the value of music to a nightclub (a business that attracts customers predominantly on the basis of the music it plays) is very different to the value of music to a café. Our fees are therefore segmented to different industry types in order to appropriately differentiate rates. In addition, the rate needs to be scalable – for example all other matters being equal we do not believe that a small retail outlet should pay the same fee as a large department store, or a small country pub the same as a large city hotel. From this starting point, in very broad terms where the music use is intrinsic to the business, our rates tend to be higher and linked to patronage (for example by reference to attendance, capacity, class numbers or box office takings). At the other end of the spectrum, rates will be linked to another metric that is easily ‘measured’ by the business and verifiable by us – for example the size of the business in metres squared. We publish a series of Information Guides for all of our industry specific licence schemes on this website

Do I need a OneMusic licence if I pay live performers or they choose to perform for free?

In most cases a OneMusic licence is required, however, if they want to deal with you directly you may be able to negotiate a licence with the performers, assuming there are no sound recordings used in the performance and they have written all the music they perform. They will also need to ensure that they get the consent of any co-writers, or music publishers who may have an interest in any of the works they will be performing. Your annual licence fee will simply be adjusted accordingly if you let OneMusic know of your arrangements.

Whether or not the live performer performs for free or not does not change you are required to have the performance properly licensed. We suggest that the easiest way to do this is through a OneMusic licence. However, there are options available to enable you to deal with the relevant copyright owners of the music that OneMusic represents. For the songs performed, if the songwriter wants to license their rights to you directly, they can access the APRA AMCOS licence-back process. 

It is important that you are aware that the live artist performer is often not the composer so you would need to ensure the act is able to provide you with all the necessary permissions for the music they are performing including co-writers and music publishers. If there is a recording used in the performance (for example, if the performer is a hip-hop artist) then you are able to directly-license with the relevant copyright owner, generally a record label (there may be more than one you need to deal with). You do need not pay OneMusic for performances directly-licensed.

Does my OneMusic licence cover me to use music across multiple locations?

Each location needs to be licensed by OneMusic. You can do this in one of two ways. 

  • 1. Take out an individual licence per location.
  • 2. Take out a ‘head office’ licence (providing all your locations are trading under the same ABN) and license them all under the one account. 

When should I apply for a OneMusic licence?

Anyone starting a new business should contact OneMusic if their intention is to play music to customers. Your OneMusic licence will commence from when your business starts using music and we can backdate or post-date as required. If you have only recently been made aware that your business requires a music licence you should apply for a OneMusic licence immediately.

What happens if I don't take out a licence?

If you want to play and enjoy the use of virtually any commercially released music from anywhere around the world, you should immediately enter into a OneMusic Australia licence, because using OneMusic Australia’s music without a OneMusic Australia licence can constitute an infringement of our copyright which, if not rectified, may ultimately lead to legal action.

Of course, we will happily talk with you about your music licensing and certainly provide a reasonable time frame for you to take out a licence before escalating the matter any further.

But, if our music continues to be used without permission, then we will be left with no option but to enforce our rights on behalf of our members and affiliates, which could involve court proceedings. Such action may result in the business having to pay the licence fees as well as other damages and legal costs.

Over 95% of businesses and organisations that we deal with are readily compliant.

Background Music Suppliers

Tell me more about Background Music Suppliers

To maximise the benefit of using music in your business we would recommend you first consider contacting a Background Music Supplier. In many cases we actually have data provided to us by the Background Music Supplier so we can distribute the licence fees exactly to the music creators of the songs played on their services. Check whether your supplier provides this data to us.

There are a range of Background Music Suppliers in Australia who offer music playlists that are targeted to the lifestyle and tastes of your customers. These services offer the most sophisticated option for business because the music is programmed by a professional who is able to match music with your customer base even down to parts of the day where your customers change (or their mood does). Background Music Supplied music isn’t interrupted by others’ advertisements and can carry your in-store messaging targeted at your own customers in a week-long cycle. The music these services deliver is regularly updated.

Costs range between around $35 and $200 a month, excluding music licensing fees, depending on the supplier and what other services and hardware are included. For retailers and dining businesses, your music licence fees can also be bundled into the overall fees charged by the supplier.

This is list of our approved suppliers.

My music is supplied by a background music supplier, do I need a OneMusic licence?

A background music supplier (Supplier) is a company that creates and supplies curated playlists and tailors them to a business type and specific clientele. In the likely event that the music you use through your Supplier is represented by OneMusic you still require a licence from OneMusic. Although the OneMusic licence fee may be subject to a discount if for example, all of the recordings are legitimately licensed by the supplier from another copyright owner (e.g. a record label).

However, if you are a retailer, service provider, café or restaurant, your Supplier may be able to cover your OneMusic licence fees within their contractual arrangements with you. This option is not available if you also use music not provided by your Supplier (e.g. live performances, karaoke, TV screens showing free or pay TV) and you will need a licence directly from OneMusic to cover all those uses including music from the Supplier.

If you are unsure of the option you have selected with your Supplier, please advise us of the Supplier details and we will be able to confirm this on your behalf. Alternatively, you may contact the Supplier yourself.

Dance and Syllabus

I have already paid for music provided as part of a syllabus why do I have to pay OneMusic again to license it for public performance?

Organisations that provide syllabus music where the work and/or the sound recording is still in copyright pay a fee to reproduce the music onto a CD, digital file, or other media as part of their business. As those organisations are the ones reproducing the music, the onus is upon them to make sure the appropriate rights for that reproduction are cleared. A separate right is the PUBLIC PERFORMANCE right, that is, the right to play that music as part of your business. Any business that plays music that is in copyright – for example a dance school, a shop, a bar, a venue for hire, or a gym – is responsible for clearing the public performance right for use of that music.

Complimentary Licence

Am I entitled to a complimentary OneMusic licence?

Small businesses (including home offices) are provided with a complimentary licence under OneMusic as long as they can satisfy all following conditions:
  • the business employs fewer than 20 people;
  • the means of performance is by terrestrial or digital broadcast via radio or television set (one device only) or via headphones from an employee’s personal device and
  • not intended to be heard by customers of the business or by the general public.
OneMusic has continued with the findings from the 1998 inquiry into copyright, music and small business by the House of Representatives Standing Committees’ on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, where APRA AMCOS implemented a policy which grants Complimentary Licences to small business who fulfil all of the above specific conditions. 

Cinema and film

Why do I need to pay for music in a film I am screening in public?

When a film producer is licensing music for their film, the copyright owner of the music (who could be the composer, songwriter, music publisher, record label, recording artist, or all of these people) usually will retain their performance and broadcast rights and instead assign or license these to a music rights management organisation. This means that when you show the film in Australia you will almost always need a performance licence from OneMusic for the music (or go direct to all of the copyright owners to seek permission). This is the same as when a film is shown on TV - the TV station will usually need a broadcast licence from a music rights management organisation like APRA AMCOS or PPCA or both.

Events

Which promoters are licensed under a Promoted Music Event Blanket Licence?

Music Tips

Does music make your food taste better?

Desserts up by 15%. Researchers analysed close to two million purchases at a burger chain in Sweden. When the burger stores played bespoke playlists – in this case, aimed at younger eaters – burger sales increased by 8.6%, french fries were up 8.8% and dessert sales jumped by 15.6%. 

Read more about how music makes wine taste better, makes people drink beer quicker, make diners stay longer, buy a dessert and brings in 21% more at a pub's cash register.

Does music make the crowd surge to the register?

Forget the crowds. If you know your store is going to be crowded (think Boxing Day Sales) play up-tempo music (music with more than 107 beats per minute) and you’ll see a lift of 8% more in sales. Generally feeling crowded dampens the spending habit, but a study found people ignore this negative aspect when up-tempo music is playing. This was part of a field experiment over many months across six European retail stores and 43,000 individual shopping baskets.

At Macy’s in New York, a DJ keeps the floor pulsing with hip-hop, R&B, and reggaeton doing the one thing a compilation cannot: reading the room, cranking the music when it gets more crowded. Macy's reward? It almost goes without saying: Free-spending, bopping shoppers who say with every purchase, "I'm with the brand.” 

Does music make customers think more highly of your business?

Some 311 bank customers took part in research when exiting their local UK city branch. Classical music such as The Four Seasons (Spring) by Vivaldi were measured against easy listening music such as Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and against no music at all over three weeks. If the music was perceived as upbeat or dynamic so was the bank, if the music was perceived as aggressive or threatening, the bank was too. Finally if the background music was felt to be dignified and inspirational, then the bank fell under the same perception.

Invigorating bar. The same type of study was conducted on a different group of 328 patrons of a UK city bar over nine days, comparing classical, British pop and no music at all. The type of music as well as the volume of the music effected the bar’s rank in the minds of it’s patrons. The more that customers perceived the music as being invigorating, the more the bar was also perceived in this way.

Does music make customers feel like they have had a more exhilarating workout?

Synchronised listening. According to The Guardian, “a team that regularly practises with synchronised music or other acoustic stimuli will develop an instinctive sense of the team's optimal rhythm...”

“Listening to joyful music for 30 minutes has been associated with improved endothelial function, possibly by endorphin mediated activation of endothelium derived nitric oxide. The vascular health benefits of music may be due to endorphins or endorphin like compounds released from the brain when we hear music we like."

Read more about how music makes wine taste better, makes people drink beer quicker, make diners stay longer, buy a dessert and brings in 21% more at a pub's cash register.

Does music encourage customers to talk to their friends about their experience at your venue?

Collective effervescence is “that glowy, giddy feeling where your sense of self slackens, yielding to a connection with your fellow, synchronized humans… Think about why people go to concerts, for instance: The sound is loud, the drinks expensive, the people sweaty, and you can hear the same songs at home. People with high tendency for… (this collective effervescence)… had more collective experiences in their lives, had more fun at them, wanted more of them, and were more likely to say they’d had such an experience recently.” The basis of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

Read more about how to encourage customers to think your business is always new and interesting.

Does music make your staff feel more relaxed, better able to concentrate and enjoy their work?

Ambient music at work. Research suggests that ambient music could be the best kind of music for work productivity. “In 2012, The Journal of Consumer Research published a study investigating the effects of ambient noise on creativity. The study suggested that creative processes improved when participants listened to ambient noise at a moderate volume — about 70 decibels, approximately the volume of a vacuum cleaner. The study also found that creativity suffered in the presence of high-volume ambient noise — about 85 decibels, slightly louder than a garbage disposal.”

Based on results from a 2016 study happy music significantly and positively influences cooperative behaviour and there is also positive association between mood and cooperative behaviour. This builds on research from the 1970s which looked at music as an effective to raise efficiency in repetitive factory work even when in competition with the noise of machines.

Does music encourage your customers to be more patient while they wait?

Have patience. A restaurant with long lines of customers waiting may benefit by playing nostalgia-inducing background music.

Music on Hold. “Not just any music will do… certain types of music calm a person while on hold, and other types cause them to react negatively. Justin Worland of Time magazine discovered from a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that playing recognisable pop songs produced a more positive experience for callers than elevator music or bland, repeating melodies, which tends to frustrate callers.”

Does music encourage your customers to remain calm during their appointment?

Relax, this won’t hurt a bit. With the right music patients can be more relaxed in the operating room, according to a Surgeon quoted in Time magazine. Less medication, quicker recovery times and shorter hospital stays all because music can decrease anxiety. Research in 2011 also concluded that adult dental patients may benefit from a procedural music-listening program.

Does music make cheese taste better?

Cheese that has been exposed to music for six months tastes different. In 2019 someone played music to giant rounds of cheese in Switzerland (where else?) and found that not only does music-exposed cheese taste different but the taste differs a much as the style of music.

Music can change the way we think and feel

WIRED's Peter Rubin looks at how music can change our moods, why we get the chills, and how it can actually change pathways in our brains. Watch now

Dealing Direct

What is "dealing direct"?

A OneMusic Australia licence provides the easiest and most cost effective way to access the majority of the world’s repertoire of music. However, you don’t have to go through OneMusic Australia to legally play music – you also have the option to deal directly with the each of the individual copyright owners of the music you wish to use.

Usually it’s easier to go through OneMusic Australia - we represent the performing rights in all songs written or published by APRA AMCOS members and all sound recordings and music videos created or controlled by PPCA licensors. This means that OneMusic Australia can grant you a blanket licence to perform or play all the songs from this vast repertoire. If you want choice of music from the charts and back catalogues, the music you and your customers are familiar with, there’s no better place to come.

Under OneMusic, there are no changes to your options to deal directly with APRA AMCOS members or PPCA licensors directly. 

When can I deal direct?

You may choose to deal directly with the individual rights holders as it suits you, for example if you want to use or commission a particular song as telephone on hold music or for live performances where the band plays all its own music.  

In some very limited instances, you will need to deal directly with the individual rights holders such as if the proposed music use is at a political event or in a context which might give the impression that the musicians and/or recording artists are affiliated with your brand or business.  

Dealing Direct for APRA AMCOS Musical Works

APRA AMCOS receives an exclusive assignment (APRA) or an exclusive licence (AMCOS) from its members, which means APRA AMCOS members gives APRA AMCOS the exclusive rights to collect royalties on their behalf. 

If you want to deal directly with an APRA AMCOS member, you will need to come to an agreement with the relevant music creators to use their works (songs) well in advance of the planned event/activity. There are often multiple contributors to a song and you must make sure that all parties with an interest in the song (such as any other writers or publishers) agree to the arrangement. 

The APRA AMCOS member will need to submit an application to APRA AMCOS to arrange for a licence back or opt out, as appropriate.  The financial arrangements are not relevant in this process and we will not ask you or the music creator to provide financial details of any direct licence.

Licence Back and Opt Out are explained in more detail in the Music Creators section of APRA AMCOS’ website under Managing your Rights.

Dealing Direct for PPCA Sound Recordings and Music Videos

If you want to deal directly with PPCA licensors, you can approach each of the individual rights holders directly to ask for their permission to use their sound recordings or music videos. PPCA receives a non-exclusive licence from its licensors and so there is no ‘licence back’ or ‘opt out’ process for sound recordings or music videos controlled by PPCA licensors.

Exactly as for musical works, this permission will need to be sought well in advance of the planned event/activity from all parties who control that sound recording or music video in Australia.  In PPCA’s experience, the relevant sound recording copyright owner is often the record label which released the sound recordings and/or it may be the artists themselves if they have released the sound recordings and/or if they have retained the public performance rights in the sound recordings.

More Information

Depending on the arrangements you make if you choose to deal directly, you may not require a licence from OneMusic at all. Alternatively you may qualify for a reduction in your OneMusic blanket licence fees (we call this reduction a Partial Rights Discount and these are explained, where applicable, in the OneMusic Information Guides and Licence Agreements).

It is important to note that the final decision on whether to issue you with direct permission to use music at your event lies with the relevant copyright owners (songwriter, composer, recording artist, music publisher, record label) and they are not compelled to deal direct if they do not wish to.

As noted above, the commercial terms of any direct licences are just between you and the relevant rights holders and we will never ask for details of how much you paid to the rights holders for the use of their music. However, we will need confirmation of what direct licences have been granted (including the contact details of the entities granting the licences to you) so we can confirm the scope of the licences and determine whether any reduction in your OneMusic Australia coverage is required.   


For more information about One Music Australia licences and dealing direct, please contact OneMusic Australia’s Customer Support Team:

Phone:  1300 162 162
Email: hello@onemusic.com.au

For assistance finding the relevant rights holder for a musical work, please contact APRA AMCOS’ Copyright Ownership Information Service

Website: www.apraamcos.com.au
Phone:  1300 852 388
Email: mechres@apra.com.au

Further information about PPCA and PPCA Sound Recordings, please contact PPCA:

Website: www.ppca.com.au
Phone: (02) 8569 1100
Email: ppca.mail@ppca.com.au