How are the royalties calculated?
Royalties are calculated by direct reports per event. The licence fees paid by the promoter are allocated directly to the songs performed by the concert’s headline artists and support artists, or every artist on a festival bill.
Where APRA AMCOS has received full reporting (all setlists) for an event, the invoiced licence fee is allocated in full in the next quarterly distribution to all songs in the setlists provided. Where APRA AMCOS has been provided with only some setlists for an event, a portion of the invoiced licence fee is distributed to the songs in the setlists that have been provided. The remainder of the invoiced licence fee is held until APRA AMCOS receives the outstanding setlists and the remaining licence fees are released into the next distribution. In calculating the licence fee amount to withhold from a distribution when all setlists haven’t been provided, headline artists are given a higher weighting than support artists.
Where an event is a concert or festival and the licence fee is less than $300, or where setlists can’t be obtained after 3 years, the licence fee will be added to APRA’s Live Performance Report distribution pool. Where an event is not a concert or festival and the licence fee is less than $300, the fee will be allocated across the Background Audio distribution pools. Where a setlist is unable to be obtained after 3 years, the undistributed money is also included in the Live Performance Report pool.
Exact song durations are used for royalty calculation purposes wherever possible. However, for songs performed at concerts where durations are not shown on the setlists, a ‘standard duration’ of three minutes is applied to all song. Equal performance credits are given to each song of the same duration performed by the headline artist and the supporting artist(s) appearing on stage after the concert’s advertised starting time.
Only live music and recorded music performed by DJs are allocated royalties in a promoted concert distribution. In addition, recorded music which accompanies the vocal or other live performance of the performer, or ‘play on’ music for the performer immediately before and/or during the performer’s entrance on stage is also allocated royalties.
How are royalties calculated for Symphony Orchestras?
Australia and New Zealand’s major symphony orchestras are licensed by APRA and provide full reports of the compositions they perform. All copyright compositions and copyright arrangements performed by the orchestras are included in APRA’s royalty distributions. The licence fees paid by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, for example, are distributed to the compositions performed by that orchestra. The same direct allocation of licence fees applies to each orchestra.
Once we have calculated the amount payable for a song or composition, we can pay that amount to the copyright owner of the work. If the copyright owner is not a member of APRA or AMCOS, we pay the money to the affiliated overseas society that represents them.
How often are royalties paid?
Distributions for Australian and New Zealand concerts and events are calculated and paid quarterly. However, through reciprocal agreements with some overseas affiliated societies, royalty payment may be made under certain circumstances within 28 days or within 90 days from the date of payment of the licence fee by the promoter, depending on the size of the fee.
What about songs that cannot be identified or are the subject of a dispute?
View our information guide on Unidentified Songs and Disputes for more information.