Workplace Music and Telephone on Hold

The Workplace Music and Telephone on Hold scheme has been developed by OneMusic Australia for general workplaces and those businesses using music on their telephone on hold systems. The scheme is available as a standalone licence, or as part of other OneMusic Australia schemes, such as the Retail and Service Providers, Places of Interest, Activity and Amusement, and Dining schemes.

This Rate Setting Guide describes how OneMusic Australia sets the rates under the Workplace Music and Telephone on Hold scheme. For more information about how OneMusic Australia fixes rates and determines rate structures more generally, please see the Rate Setting Guide - General Background available HERE.

Licensees under this scheme range from small, single-location premises to large, multi-location businesses.

This licence provides coverage for the use of OneMusic Australia’s music in these licensing categories:

  1. Workplace Music
  2. Telephone on Hold

1. Workplace Music

Workplace Music involves a bundle of different music uses and rights that have been packaged together by OneMusic Australia so that a business can be covered for the majority of ways music is typically used in a workplace.

The Workplace Music licence category comprises the following rights:

  • to perform music (typically, recorded music) and music videos to employees in the office, including employees playing music at their workstations,
  • to perform music at company events including office/Christmas parties;
  • to perform music and music videos to the public in front reception areas;
  • to communicate music to employees during online meetings or staff training; and
  • reproducing (or copying) music for the purposes described above.

Rate Structure:

The rate structure for Workplace Music is an amount per FTE Employee of the business, subject to a minimum fee.

FTE Employee means full time employees or full time equivalents of the business.

The per-FTE Employee rate structure acts as a simple approximation of audience size to ensure small businesses do not pay the same amounts as businesses with a large number of employees.


The APRA rates for music in the workplace were formulated in around 2005 by reference to international benchmarks. The OneMusic Australia rates are higher than the original rates because of the inclusion of sound recording and reproduction rights.

The Workplace Music licence category includes a minimum fee, which has been formulated with regard to the following:

2. Telephone on Hold

Telephone on Hold involves the communication of music across telecommunication lines to listeners being placed on hold by a business. The right to reproduce or copy music for the purposes of placing that music on the telephone on hold system is also available under this licensing category.

Rate Structure:

The rate structure for Telephone on Hold is an amount that is calculated by reference to the following factors:

  • the caller capacity of the telephone system;
  • whether the licensee is a single location or has multiple locations; and
  • whether the licensee requires copying as well as communication.

Caller Capacity means how many lines (playing music) the business can place on hold at any one time. Where a business uses VOIP or a Cloud based telephone system, caller capacity is the number of maximum simultaneous users across all locations.

The use of these three factors provides for a licence fee that is consistent with the size of their telephone system, the size of their business, and the number of rights used.


The APRA rates for music on hold were formulated in the early 2000s, by reference to international benchmarks and based on the number of PABX lines. PPCA introduced rates that were essentially the same as APRA’s rates shortly thereafter. With OneMusic, PABX lines was replaced as a concept with caller capacity to reflect technological changes that had occurred in the interim. The OneMusic Australia rates added the PPCA rates, and were then reduced to ensure businesses with multiple locations did not pay an inflated amount.

The rates for Telephone on Hold are able to be reduced by 48% in the event that the licensee does not need a licence for either APRA AMCOS works or PPCA sound recordings, whether because it does not use PPCA recordings, only uses public domain works or has sought and obtained a licence for those sound recordings or musical works directly from the copyright holder (such as a record company or composer).