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Community radio distribution changes and tips for Amrap servicing

Tip Published Tuesday 28 July 2020
Community radio holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Australian listeners, And, with important changes recently made to APRA's distribution practice, there will now be more members getting paid from their work being played on community radio.

Community radio APRA distribution practice has recently changed

More community radio stations now reporting music use

Amrap can distribute your music to community radio programmers

Community radio holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Australian listeners and is a crucial part of the music ecosystem for our members.

"Community radio is the likeliest place Australian artists will get their first airplay. Around six million people listen to community radio each week and many of those listeners are looking to hear new Australian music," according to the team at Amrap (Australian Music Radio Airplay Project), the service that helps distribute music to community radio programmers and hosts nationwide.

And, with important changes recently made to APRA's distribution practice, there will now be more members getting paid from their work being played on community radio.

How? We have expanded the reporting sources we use for distribution of licence fees to music creators. We already receive music broadcast data from a sample of stations (57 stations from various genres and formats).

To supplement this, Amrap now provides additional playlists from stations who use Amrap Pages software. Currently over 25% of community stations use this service, so it's a great additional source of music use to include in our distribution.

What does it boil down to? More community stations are reporting a broader range of playlists, so more of you will get paid. It's important to note, that the royalty rate per play will decrease with more songs and compositions being paid, while the licence fee pool stays the same.

Royalties also get paid for the music used outside of program playlists: sponsorship announcements, station IDs, program promos, community service announcements, stings, bridges, news and weather themes (at a 50% payment weighting).

You can read the finer details on page 15 of the distribution practices.

As always, you need to register your songs in order to get paid for airplay! Register your songs via the Writer Portal.

So, if you're asking, ‘What is Amrap?’, here are some 'best practice' tips to ensure your music has the best chance at getting played. Which, in turn, helps you to get to paid. The Amrap team answered our questions.

1. Why should artists sign up to Amrap?

Getting your music onto Amrap makes it available to the thousands of community broadcasters so they can play Australian music on their programs. It’s a great way connect to the people who are passionate about Australian music and develop an audience for your work across the hundreds of community stations nationwide. Best of all, it’s free!

2. How does it work?

Artists sign up for an account on Amrap, and you then create a profile with artist bio, pictures, tour dates, and of course, your music [editor's note: make sure you register your songs to get paid for airplay you receive]. You can update it at any time. Artists can categorise music by genre, location and identity. This allows broadcasters to discover you more easily, based on what they’re keen to air on their program.

Broadcasters regularly search the site to preview music and then download it for potential airplay. You can see which broadcasters have accessed your music via your account and get in touch with them. Remember, it's always nice to thank a presenter on your socials for a spin.

Amrap Metro Charts show the top ten tracks metropolitan community braodcasters have downloaded for airplay from the Amrap site

3. Who can use Amrap?

Amrap is available to Australian artists with new, broadcast-ready music.

We define 'new' music as anything submitted to us within 12 months of initial commercial release. We encourage Australian artists at any stage of their career to get their music on there!

Community radio is a vast, nationwide network that caters for an incredible amount of music and interests, and Amrap offers you the chance for your music and voice to be part of it all.

On the broadcast side, program makers at licenced community radio stations will have an account with Amrap for the purposes of previewing and downloading the music artists have made available. There are some exceptions, so you should check out our FAQs to get the full lowdown.

4. What are your ‘best practice’ tips for artists?

Where mainstream radio airplay can be elusive, building a network of community radio program makers for your music will go a long way.

With 37% of all music played on community radio coming from Australian artists, community radio offers amazing support for artists with its passionate presenters giving dedicated audiences sounds they may not hear anywhere else.

The Amrap platform creates the easiest pathway to those presenters.

Quick tips:

  • You should make sure you have up-to-date bio and release information for broadcasters when uploading new music onto the site. Broadcasters are less likely to play your music without that information.
  • Make sure to follow up with broadcasters who have accessed your music – many of them will have an email contact listed on their profile – and see if they have played your music on their program. It’s worth asking if they’re interested in an interview or a live to air if they’re close by or you’re passing through.
  • Also, make sure to use the Amrap search function to look for broadcasters by location and the types of music they’re interested in. You can send them a direct link to the music you have available to them on Amrap.
  • Some community radio stations are linked into our Amrap Airplay Search – you can create an account and search for stations listed that have played your music:

Many community radio stations still rely on CDs to get music to air – we can target those stations for you with the Amrap CD Mailout, Amrap's only paid service.

Whether you're about to sign up or you're already using Amrap, make sure you make the most of its tools, stay active on the platform and keep your profile up to date.