Australia has a new royalty rate for digital music and video downloads.

The country's Copyright Tribunal has established a new tariff payable to composers, songwriters and music publishers, and in doing so has put an end to a clash which pitted music publishers against Apple Computer, telco Telstra and major labels Universal and Sony Music.

The country's digital music service providers must now pay collecting societies APRA and AMCOS a new royalty rate of 9% of retail price for music downloads (but does not apply to subscription models), while 8% of retail price is the tariff for music video downloads.

The new music download tariff represents a small hike on the previous figure of 8% on the retail price, a figure seen by publishers as an "interim rate" negotiated in the infancy of the digital market.

Music publishers, through APRA and the rights society's sister organization AMCOS, had applied for an elevated rate of 12% to reflect the maturity of the digital download industry.

APRA and AMCOS lodged an application with the Copyright Tribunal in 2007. The Copyright Tribunal case began Nov. 30, and the new licensing scheme was approved just prior to Christmas.

Executives from APRA were not available for comment.

Australia's digital music market is soaring. According to first-half 2009 figures reported by labels body ARIA, digital track sales rose to $18.08 million Australian ($16.5 million) during the period, up 36.46% in value compared with the corresponding period of 2008. Digital album sales improved by more than 56% for a value of $9.27 million Australian ($8.5 million).