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Distribution information guide: Recorded music for dance use

This information guide explains how the licence fees we collect from businesses who use recorded music for dance use are paid out as royalties.

Where does the money come from?

APRA AMCOS collects licence fees from Australian businesses who use recorded music for dance use at dedicated venues (e.g. nightclubs, or discos), or in multi-purpose venues (e.g. hotels and casinos).

We also collect licence fees from other types of premises in Australia and New Zealand (such as pubs and bars) for featured recorded music use, which are added to this same royalty distribution pool.

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


We allocate royalties across multiple sources of data to determine who should be paid:

  • Music Recognition Technology (MRT): Digital recording devices have been placed in a number of nightclubs across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. The music is streamed to an external service provider engaged by APRA AMCOS, who fingerprints the songs, matches them to their database of several million tracks, and then reports the details of the performed songs to us. We also use Pioneer’s DJ ‘KUVO’ device for DJs – KUVO is a networking device that plugs directly into Pioneer DJs CDJs and Nexus DJ mixers. It captures selected metadata fields from digital music files played by a DJ.
  • ARIA Club chart data: one version of the chart includes DJs’ positions and ARIA’s weightings according to positive audience response, and one doesn’t. They are compiled from the weekly reports of approximately 180 DJs. For each week’s list of reported songs, performances are allocated so that the song at #1 receives the most performances and the song in last position receives the lowest number of performances. E.g. in a list of 150 songs, 1 performance is allocated for position 150, 2 performances for position 149, and so on, up to 150 performances for position number 1.
  • Broadcast logs: Playlists of selected radio stations and music video TV programmes.
  • Performance Reports: A share of licence fees are allocated directly to the Live Performance distribution pool, to cover live performance report submissions from DJs.

New Zealand

We use MRT Data collected from both Australian and New Zealand venues, broadcast logs from specific New Zealand broadcasters, and Performance Reports for the live component.

How are songs matched to the data APRA AMCOS receives?

The reports provided by ARIA, MRT and the selected radio stations and music TV channels are 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.

Performance Reports:
An online form submitted to APRA AMCOS by members who perform their original songs and compositions live. The form details performances in Australia and New Zealand that were not a promoted concert (large scale promoted concert/festival/event).

Music Recognition Technology (MRT):
A digital ‘fingerprint’ of each piece of music is created when it is used. This fingerprint is then compared to the digital fingerprints of many millions of musical works housed in a third-party fingerprint database. This database also contains each work’s metadata (that is, the names of writers, performers, recording details etc.) enabling the owners of each matched work to be identified and paid accordingly.