How are the royalties calculated?
To calculate royalties, APRA first needs to determine the value of each channel which is included in the distribution. This is achieved by using two metrics:
- the channel’s audience size according to audience ratings;
- the channel’s type using an internally determined factor (see ‘Channel type’ table below);
The following sets out the factor applied to each channel:
Channel type weightings
- Music 47%
- Movies 22%
- Entertainment 19%
- Sport 8%
- Business etc 4%
Once we’ve arrived at a dollar value for each channel, APRA’s distribution policy uses a ‘points’ system to allocate royalties to each song. From the cue sheets, we allocate one point per second of duration for each song. The points are then weighted using APRA’s standard weightings according to the use made of the music being broadcast
Music use weightings
- 2x - Featured - music which is audible to the characters on screen and the audience, for example a scene with a radio playing
- 1.5x - Theme - music which runs under the opening or closing credits of a film or TV show
- 1.0x - Background - the ‘sound score, often original music that has been composed specifically for a film or TV show
- 0.3x - Station IDs and Promos – promotions for a TV show or for the network itself
How points are used to calculate the royalty amount payable for each song
Once the points have been calculated for all songs, the total revenue collected is divided by the total sum of all points, resulting in a $ rate per point. This rate is then multiplied by the number of points given to a song based on the weightings above, resulting in the royalty amount payable for that song. This calculation is performed for every song being paid in the distribution.
Once we have calculated the amount payable for a song, we can pay that amount to the copyright owner of the work. If the copyright owner is not a member of APRA or AMCOS but a member of an affiliated overseas society, we pay the money to that society.
Pay TV networks or channels may hold AMCOS licences for the reproduction of songs in programmes produced under their licence with AMCOS. The licence fees are distributed based on cue sheets and music logs (music channels) provided to APRA. Each work receives one credit point per 30 seconds or part thereof.
How often are royalties paid?
Royalties are calculated and paid quarterly.
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.