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You can do it! A few members share their thoughts on performance reports

Story Published Thursday 8 August 2019

We know band admin is never fun, but doing your Performance Reports really does pay off - quite literally. While the amount varies year to year depending on the total number of reports submitted, and license fees collected, to give you an idea: last year New Zealand songwriters earned $3.91 each time they performed an original song of their own live. So, if a songwriter had performed 12 songs of their own at a gig, they would have earned a royalty payment of $46.92 for that show. And let's say they played that show 8 times, they would earn $375.36.
You just have to tell us where, when, and what you played.

Here's a few words from local acts who think doing those Performance Reports are worthwhile...

“Hey it's Jon and Liz from The Beths. We would like to encourage you to do a Performance Report. We always do them, it only sucks a tiny little bit, and you can give yourself a reward after, knowing that you'll get some money in your bank account soon - more than enough to buy a little ice-cream, or a chocky-bar. Probably a bit more than that.

Doing the return isn't hard but you do have to log onto a web site. It's okay to be afraid. The people at APRA are actual sweethearts and will help you if you reach out to them. They've helped us a handful of times when we've had questions about all sorts of things. You can just email them which is nice, but because it's New Zealand and it's just our little community of musicians, you can even call them, on the phone, and speak to someone lovely, who genuinely loves music and wants to get you money for doing it.

Future you will hate you for NOT doing your performance reports. So you can get future paid, for past shows, I guess. ;)”
(The Beths)

"Live royalties are the best. It's money that you've already earned with your name on it. Submit those Performance Reports whanau!!! "
(Soaked Oats)

“When I was coming up as a young musician, receiving your royalties was always a bit of a joke, but when I got my first payment I was genuinely surprised at how significant it was. The performance reports can be a great source of revenue and as some who performs their own music regularly, it really encourages me to continue to write and play!”
(Callum Allardice - Antipodes, The Jac)

“A piece of advice: If you're forgetful like me, put a note on your fridge to remind yourself to do your yearly APRA performance returns before July 31st. This money is owed to you for your hard work and talent - so don't miss out. You can spend it on things like new guitar pedals, a nice lunch, or some new recordings, excellent!”
(Brooke Singer, French For Rabbits)

“Performance Reports are a huge part of why I can continue to operate as an independent artist and gives me the opportunity to dedicate more time to creating new music.”
(Jenny Mitchell)

"If you're playing your own songs at your own shows you're a gump if you're not taking a little time to process your performance reports. If you're not filling out your Performance Reports it's a little like walking outside with your socks on... I know you do it from time to time, but isn't it time to keep your socks dry...? Sure it's a lot easier to just walk outside with your socks on, but now they're wet... and you've missed out on the income you've earned performing your own compositions."
(Nick Atkinson, Hopetoun Brown and Supergroove)

“Running a small business takes a lot of admin. But it's not every day you can know, with certainty, that a day of admin now is going to pay in a few months.

Every time you play a song in a live venue, there's money being kept aside for you. Venues work hard to pay their APRA fees and they want that money to go to the artists they ask to play. Doing your return is the way to ensure that it does.

I always set aside a day to do my Performance Report, because that payment has consistently made the difference between me playing music as hobby, and playing music as a job.”
(Anthonie Tonnon)

“Are you putting off your Performance Report? Don't be a loser! It's free money! Definitely worth the pain of remembering all your shows. Here's my hot tip - start a spreadsheet (NOW!) of gigs for the coming year. Then, every time you play, enter the deets in there along with your set list, and it'll make filing in your live return a breeze. Did I mention free money? Do it.”
(Mel Parsons)