COVID-19’s impact on APRA AMCOS royalty payments

Image credit: APRA AMCOS

The Australian copyright management organisations APRA AMCOS detail the affects COVID-19 has had on April – June 2020 royalties.

The copyright collectives APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) represent over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia and New Zealand, licensing public performances on radio, television, online, live gigs in pubs and clubs etc.

With revenue payments from the April – June distributed four and a half months after the end of the quarter, Q2 royalties are due mid-November. Unsurprisingly, APRA’s revenue has been hit hard during COVID-19 and the current recession, with concerts, live music, radio and television, cinema, airlines and hospitality hit the most between April and June. Digital grew during stay-at-home orders, which helped shield the impact, but November APRA royalty payments are overall down 11% compared to the same quarter last year.

The pandemic also impacted APRA’s own expenses, with the company’s largest expenses being salaries, almost 20% of their staff were let go in the quarter.

APRA list the main areas COVID-19 impacted domestic royalties. Percentages are based off year-on-year increases/decreases.

  • Digital (incl Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Netflix, etc): increased 27%
  • Commercial TV (e.g. Network Seven, Nine and Ten): decreased 20%
  • Subscription TV (inc Foxtel and Fetch): largely unchanged
  • Commercial Radio (e.g. KIIS, nova and smooth fm): decreased 57%
  • Concerts/Events: decreased 24%
  • Cinemas: decreased 76%
  • Nightclubs: decreased 82%

Visit APRA for a full breakdown of how each areas was affected by COVID-19.

Australian musicians, crew and music workers financially affected by COVID-19 are advised to apply for the Support Act Crisis Fund.

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