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Distribution information guide: Websites and general online music use

This information guide explains how the licence fees we collect from music users who have music on their website or use music in recorded podcasts are paid out as royalties.

Where does the money come from?

APRA AMCOS collects licence fees for music used on websites and in podcasts.

For information on licence fees collected and distributed for music used on Facebook, YouTube and other streaming services platforms, view relevant information guides.

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

We rely on our licensees to provide us with information about the music they use. When this data is not received, our distribution process is to find an appropriate data source which matches the music use, e.g. licence fees collected for the channel 7 website will be pooled with the Network 7 broadcast distribution. If the client is unable to provide usage data, and no immediate source of data is available, then fees may be distributed by analogy across music use data received from other online and broadcast licensees.

How are songs matched to the data APRA AMCOS receives?

We rely on licensees to report their music use. We are then able to match songs reported by licensees directly with 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.

Royalties are distributed via distribution pools (or by copying datasets) that are most similar in terms of a licensee’s music content. This method is used when Direct Allocation or Sample reporting is impractical.