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Distribution information guide: Production music

This information guide explains how the licence fees we collect from users of production music are paid out as royalties.

Where does the money come from?

AMCOS collects licence fees for the use of production music, which is music written and recorded specifically for the synchronisation or dubbing in audio and audiovisual productions. This includes advertisements, films, DVDs, TV & radio programs, websites, online games, music on hold and ringtones. With production music, unlike all other music in AMCOS’ repertoire, AMCOS represents both the rights in the song and in the associated sound recording. AMCOS provides non-exclusive licences for around 1,000,000 songs across many styles and genres.

Direct licences:
Licence fees for production music are based on the total ‘units of music’, where 1 unit is 30 seconds of music, multiplied by a rate which is based on how the production music is being used according to type (e.g. advertising online, on TV or radio or for audio-visual productions) and reach (e.g. metropolitan Australia, regional NZ or worldwide). In some cases, a flat fee is negotiated.

Blanket licences:
AMCOS licenses TV and radio broadcasters for their use of AMCOS music, including production music, in programming produced by themselves. Production music will share in those licence fees according to relative usage and weightings where applicable. Because AMCOS licenses three separate copyrights in production music in its arrangements with television broadcasts and networks (reproduction right in the work, reproduction right in the recording, and communication right in the recording), production music receives a positive royalty distribution weighting in our distributions (using multipliers of 1.5x for production music works used in programs, and 2x for production music works used in promotions and station identifiers) against other music.

See separate guides for broadcasters for more information.

What information does APRA AMCOS use to determine who should be paid?

Direct Licences:
the licensee must list details on their application form of each track they use.

Blanket Licences:
TV and radio broadcasters report their use of production music with their other reporting.

How are songs matched to the data APRA AMCOS receives?

AMCOS has access to the details of all production music on offer, so the songs can be directly matched to the vast repertoire of songs in our database.

Key terms used in our Distribution Rules and Practices document

The Copyright Act refers to compositions, musical scores in the form of sheet music, broadsheets or other notation as musical works. Lyrics or words to a song are considered literary works. When we refer to songs, we are referring to all the elements of a musical/literary work protected by copyright.