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APRA AMCOS revenue hits high note

Media Published Wednesday 18 October 2023
Year in Review message from CEO Dean Ormston and APRA Board Chair Jenny Morris

Record revenue of $690.5m, an increase of 12% on the FY22 result

Major concerts and festivals revenue jumps 400% in first full post-pandemic FY

But gone are more than 1,300 live music venues that host small to medium gigs

APRA AMCOS calls for an Australia-wide live music venue tax offset to revitalise performance opportunities.

Today APRA AMCOS published its financial results for FY23, reflecting a very strong year financially for the Australasian music rights management organisation with gross revenue of $690.5 million, an increase of 12% on the previous year’s $616.5m total.

Net distributable revenue – that is, the money paid to songwriter and publisher members, affiliates and rightsholders – increased 11.4% year-on-year to $595.2m.

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International income from affiliate societies around the world exceeded $70m for the first time, a 17.7% year-on-year increase, reflecting the global reach and success of our Australian and New Zealand members.

All three topline revenue figures mark an organisation all-time high and are indicative of a post-pandemic recovery.

The FY23 gross revenue was $270.3m more than the $420.2m result five years ago, representing 64.3% growth over the period. The graph below shows the dramatic growth in the relative value of digital services and APRA AMCOS’ multi-territory licensing business, and solid growth in the public performance business.

Within the OneMusic business in FY23, licence fees for concerts and festivals saw a dramatic 400% year-on-year increase, reaching an all-time high of $31.9m.

Music fans flocked to concerts despite inflation and cost of living pressures.

Notable tours included internationals Ed Sheeran (with local support from Budjerah), Elton John and Harry Styles; local heroes RÜFÜS DU SOL, Crowded House, L.A.B. and SIX60 as well as festivals Listen Out, Laneway (in Australia) and Knotfest.

When taking stock of the local live music sector, though, the figures show a more disparate situation. Since the start of the pandemic, OneMusic has recorded a loss of more than 1,300 live music venues and stages across Australia, equating to one-third fewer licensed premises where medium to smaller gigs take place.

1,300+ music venues lost

Crowds at nightclubs almost halved

“There remains cause for considerable concern regarding the decimated venue-based live music market,” said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS CEO.

In the adjacent nightclub sector, crowds have almost halved since pre-pandemic trading. Annual attendance has dropped to 1.6m from 2.8+ in FY19, according to OneMusic’s data.

“The establishment of a national music development agency, Music Australia represents a major shift in how government invests and partners with the industry. We also warmly welcome the state-based support with the creation of Sound NSW. The establishment of Creative Workplaces as well will underpin the accountability of our industry to provide fair, safe, respectful and sustainable workplaces for Australian artists and arts workers.

“This means we are now recognised as an ‘industry’ by the Australian Government. Not only that, but we are also an industry worthy of investment.

“With that approach, we’re lobbying all levels of government to establish, at speed, special entertainment precincts to foster and protect new and existing venues.

“We are also calling on the Australian Government to commit to a live music venue tax offset to act as a catalyst in jump-starting live music nationally.

“For the current wave and the next generation of music creators to develop their skills and become export-ready, we need to provide them with the resources at home and build a sustainable live music ecosystem,” said Ormston.

APRA AMCOS will also continue to advocate on behalf of members by calling on the Australian Government to design a local content obligation that results in positive, sustainable outcomes for Australian audiences and industry.

“Importantly, we must improve the opportunity for the breadth of our songwriter, composer and artist members to be seen and heard on commercial radio, audio and video streaming services and in screen productions and digital games,” said Ormston.

“We remain resolute in our intent to enable self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori music creators through the work of NATSIMO, headed by Leah Flanagan, and, in Aotearoa New Zealand, the work of Dame Hinewehi Mohi, DNZM, the Manukura, Puoro Māori/Director, Māori Membership.”

Ormston also emphasises the importance of service to members and notes that over the past five years membership has grown more than 20%, to surpass 119,000 members across Australia, New Zealand and living around the world. On the back of a member survey in FY23, a key focus for the 2023-24 financial year is to benchmark service levels.

“We are a fast-moving business operating in a globally competitive context. We are in the midst of transforming the organisation’s service capabilities, realising future revenue opportunities, and most importantly, getting money to members faster and more efficiently,” Ormston said in a message to members.

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