APRA AMCOS Reports Record Full-Year Results

Photo courtesy APRA AMCOS
Dean Ormston

Australasian rights management society APRA AMCOS posted another banner set of results, with group revenues soaring past A$400 million ($285 million) for the first time and distributions hitting record sums. 

For its 2017-18 financial year, the organization generated group revenue of A$420.2 million ($300 million), an all-time high which represents an 8.7 percent lift from the previous period. 

Of that sum, A$362.8 million ($258 million) was distributed to its songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies -- also a record -- up 8.2 percent from the corresponding period in 2016-17. 

Broken-down, gross collections for APRA grew by 10.4% to A$323.3 million ($230 million), excluding AMCOS management fees), while AMCOS revenue gained 3.3% to A$95.9 million ($68 million).

The full-year results are published in its “Year In Review,” in which royalties from digital, broadcast, international and live are revealed to have grown year-on-year.

“While these results are strong, there is a real need to consider the longer term sustainability of the Australian music industry. This will be achieved through proactive government and industry policy and investment that prioritises a fair copyright framework, music in education, a strong live music touring circuit, Australian music content, and music export,” remarked CEO Dean Ormston, who stepped into the role on July 1, following the retirement of longtime CEO Brett Cottle.   

During the 12-months, digital revenue (including audio, video-on-demand, websites and user generated content) vaulted by nearly 22 percent to A$134.5 million ($96 million), with audio streaming the biggest factor, generating A$81.9 million ($58 million), up nearly 32 percent. Indeed, digital, and in particular streaming, is a boon for the Australasian organization and its beneficiaries. 

For the first time, income from digital outlets has eclipsed those of radio and TV broadcasts combined, up 5.8 per cent year on year to A$132.6 million ($94 million). 

The annual report also spells out gains in royalties earned overseas, a sector now worth A$43.7 million ($31 million, with more than 18,000 members receiving a cut) and from live, up 24 percent to A$25.3 million ($18 million).

Group operating expenses came in at A$57.1 million ($40 million), up 13.1 percent, for an expense-to-revenue ratio of 13.6 percent.

The organization’s immediate priorities are the commissioning of a new operational system, CLEF, and the rollout of OneMusic Australia in 2019, a simplified public performance license through a joint venture with collection society PPCA. OneMusic Australia, notes Ormston, will build on the “ground-breaking success” of OneMusic New Zealand, now going into its sixth year, he adds, and APRA AMCOS “forecast considerably increased market penetration and return for our members over coming years.”

The Sydney-based collective rights management organization boasts 100,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. During its most recent full-year reporting period, APRA AMCOS paid royalties on 10% more songs and compositions than the previous year, with 1,441,485 works generating earnings for 47,648 members.

Download the report here.


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