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Year in Review

Message from the Chief Executive, Dean Ormston

The past twelve months have been a landmark year for the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand contemporary music industries – in financial and non-financial ways.

APRA AMCOS was one of the lead representative bodies of the Australian contemporary music industry that came together and successfully advocated for a whole of government investment in the Australian contemporary music industry. In January of this year the Prime Minister announced, from the Espy Hotel in Melbourne, the creation of a national music development agency, Music Australia. A diverse and esteemed council for Music Australia has also been established and the new Director of Music Australia is soon to be announced.

National Cultural Policy launch. Producer/composer François Tétaz, Dean Ormston, APRA Board Chair Jenny Morris, Gotye (Wally De Backer), NATSIMO's Nathaniel Andrew and artist manager John Watson. Photo: APRA AMCOS

Our collective, and effective advocacy has resulted in a step change. We are now recognised as an ‘industry’ by the Australian Government - and an industry worthy of investment.

Music Australia is not the magic bullet to the industry’s problems – but together with state-based investment, best exemplified in the recently announced Sound NSW, it does represent an enormous opportunity to influence and effect long-term policy, strategy and investment settings that will drive the vibrancy and sustainability of the local sector and a global vision for the future.

Following the release of the Raising Their Voices report on sexual harassment, exclusion, bullying and safety in the Australian music industry, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the Centre for Creative Workplaces chaired by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins. The Centre will promote industry standards for fair, safe and respectful workplaces for Australian artists and arts workers. There’s a lot more work for all of us to do – but there is an energy, consensus and commitment for positive and lasting change.

Similarly, the Aotearoa music industry has come together in time for the New Zealand General Election in October. APRA AMCOS, in partnership with key music industry associations, has built a vision to support talent development, sustainable market conditions and export pathways for music. The vision seeks a partnership with the New Zealand Government to ensure the policy and investment settings are right to create the conditions that will enable more of New Zealand’s talent to thrive on the world stage.

Our Year in Review report reflects a very strong year financially for the APRA AMCOS Australia and NZ Group, with headline gross revenue of $690.5m, an increase of 12% on our 2022 result of $616.5m.

Net distributable revenue – that is, the money going out the door to our writer and publisher members, affiliates and rightsholders – increased 11.4% year-on-year to $595.2m.

Our international income from sister societies around the world exceeded $70m for the first time, a 17.6% year-on-year increase, reflecting the global reach and success of our members.

We saw a post-COVID recovery in our OneMusic general licensing business across Australia and New Zealand, with a 23.5% increase in revenue, and a dramatic 400% year-on-year increase in revenue from concerts and festivals – to an all-time high of $32.0m. There was also continued strong growth in the revenue from music and video-on-demand streaming services.

However, there remains considerable concern regarding the decimated venue-based live music market. We have lost more than 1,300 live music venues and stages across Australia and crowds at nightclubs have almost halved than prior to the start of the pandemic. We are lobbying State and Territory Governments to legislate for the establishment of special entertainment precincts to foster and protect new and existing live music 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.

We report on the wonderful work and leadership of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) headed by Leah Flanagan and, in New Zealand, the work of Dame Hinewehi Mohi, DNZM, the Manukura, Puoro Māori/Director, Māori Membership. We continue to leverage the warm camaraderie and the great work in both countries in supporting voice, language, culture and the development of career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pasifika peoples.

Further detail is included in this report relating to the breadth of activity across the organisation with our members and licensees and our involvement and leadership in various government submissions, inquiries, hearings and regulatory reform.

APRA AMCOS exists to serve the needs of our writer, composer and publisher members. Over the past five years our membership has grown more than 20%. 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. This all takes investment in the business and is reflected in this year’s slightly elevated expense-to-revenue ratio, which will be similarly impacted in the 2024 financial year, but we have forecast a dramatic improvement in the cost of running the business from the 2025 financial year.

In the meantime, a key focus for the 2023-24 financial year is to benchmark our service levels and look at what and where we can do better – a process of continuous improvement. As always, we welcome your feedback.



$690.5 million up from $616.5 million last year, an increase of 12.0%

Domestic and multi-territory digital revenue growth continued, albeit at a slowing year-on-year rate. Group digital licensing now accounts for more than half (51.2%) of total revenue.

Public performance revenue, which is generated from OneMusic licence fees for music played at businesses such as shops, bars, cafes, gyms, nightclubs, concerts and events, reached a record $119.8m, up 54.6% on FY22’s $77.5m result.

  • Concerts and events grew by 400%.

    This was the biggest source of growth within public performance and improved on FY22’s dismal $6.4m to a new peak of $32.0m, surpassing the all-time high of $24.9m from FY19.
  • Music fans flocked to concerts despite inflation and cost of living pressures. The sector continues to face challenges, but in FY23 the demand for live music and large gatherings delivered record performance royalties.
  • The hottest tickets 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.
  • However, there are one-third less licensed live music venues compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

    The loss of more than 1,300 music venues in Australia is a sombre statistic in the public performance category. Gigging and emerging artists and music creators now have markedly fewer places to perform, hone their performance skills and develop an audience and fanbase.

    Looking back to FY19, 14,463 Australian-based members were paid Performance Report royalties for the performance of their original songs, and while in FY23 there was an increase from the previous year, the total number of members paid was 11,340.
  • Nightclubs have seen crowds almost halved since FY19 - down to 1.6m clubgoers from over 2.8m.
  • Public performance revenue excluding concerts and events, increased 23.5% to $87.8m and reflects a rebound in business. However, difficult post-pandemic trading conditions continue to be felt in hospitality, with nightclub businesses and other venues facing sizable increases in public liability insurance premiums.

1,300+ music venues lost

Crowds at nightclubs almost halved

Television and radio revenue held at $113.2m, despite broad consumer access to digital audio and video on demand services.

International revenue from society partners surpassed $70m for the first time – landing at $70.3m – up from last year’s $59.8m total.

The Multi-Territory Licensing Hub achieved revenue of $109.2m in FY23 with underlying revenue growth of 20% year-on-year after normalising for an extraordinary historic settlement and residual revenues in FY22.

The increase to $5.0m from record labels is the result of a change in administration arrangements with some of the major record labels, rather than actual growth in the sector.

APRA AMCOS Revenue breakdown: FY23 vs FY22

Revenue now and five years ago

The graph illustrates the dramatic growth in the relative value of digital services and our multi-territory licensing business, and the solid growth in our public performance business, despite the impact of COVID.

In FY18, the gross revenue result was $420.2m, a variance of $270.3m compared to FY23 and representing 64.3% growth over the five-year period.

Member Success at home and around the world

Thelma Plum on Spotify's Times Square billboard in September 2022.

Global hits

  • Internationally, top songs included Tones And I’s ‘Dance Monkey’ (Kobalt Music Publishing/Warner Chappell), SHOUSE’s ‘Love Tonight’ (ONELOVE), The Kid LAROI’s ‘Stay’ (feat. Justin Bieber) (Sony Music Publishing), rock canon ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC (Sony Music Publishing) and Colin Hay’s Men at Work classic ‘Down Under' (Sony Music Publishing), which enjoyed a resurgence thanks in part to Luude’s new version featuring Hay.

  • The music and scores composed by members for globally popular TV and streaming shows included:
    • Bluey by Joff Bush (published by Universal Music Publishing);
    • Brokenwood Mysteries by Joel Haines;
    • Mythbusters by Neil Sutherland (published by Beyond Properties);
    • Border Security by Neil Sutherland (Red Music Publishing), and Sutherland and Nadia Sutherland for the Border Security theme;
    • McLeod’s Daughters, written by Chris Harriot and Posie Graeme-Evans (published by Nine Films & Television);
    • and, the vast film catalogue of NZ composer Graeme Revell, including The Crow (Warner Chappell Music), The Chronicles of Riddick and Collateral Damage (both published by Universal/MCA Music Publishing) amongst others, continue to connect.

The year at a glance


Nashville-based Josh Rennie-Hynes was the most placed artist on season four of Netflix’s Virgin River. The hugely popular show topped the Netflix global streaming chart in July 2022, and remained in the Top 10 for 6 weeks. He is published by Kobalt Music Publishing.

SephGotTheWaves, published by Concord Music Publishing, co-wrote and co-produced ‘Stone Rolling’ from Rodwave’s Beautiful Mind #1 Billboard album; Georgia Boyden is also a co-writer on the hit.


Tones And I’s ‘Dance Monkey’ (Kobalt Music Publishing/Warner Chappell) was proclaimed the Most Shazamed Song Ever, clocking in at 41m! The song also holds the title for Fastest Track to Reach 20 million Shazams. Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ (Origin Music Publishing) was cited for being the first song to achieve 10 million Shazams, which occurred in the platform’s early days in 2012.


Sampa the Great opened on select dates for Billie Eilish’s Australian tour. In the following months, her song ‘Let Me Be Great (feat. Angélique Kidjo)’ was featured on the Song Exploder podcast and she also performed it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She is published by Kobalt Music Publishing.

Thelma Plum, published by Sony Music Publishing, was featured on Spotify's towering electronic billboard in New York City's Times Square in support of her Meanjin EP.

Narayana Johnson, who performs as River Boy and is published by Kobalt Music Publishing, composed the music, and designed the audio for the #1 hit Nintendo Switch game Cult of the Lamb, developed by Melbourne’s Massive Monster. He talked about the ‘Sound of’ the game at High Score 2022.

River Boy onscreen at High Score 2022. Photo: Jacinta Keefe

2022 PDA Music Theatre recipient Brittanie Shipway’s play Senser, premiered at Theatreworks. She was awarded the PDA for her upcoming Gumbaynggirr musical Yellow Rock, which is being workshopped in 2023.

An incredible line-up of Aussies and Kiwis featured in the 56th CMA International Awards nominations: Phil Barton for the Jo Walker Meador International Award, and Kaylee Bell and The Wolfe Brothers, for the Jeff Walker Global Country Artist Award.

Nat Dunn, published by Mushroom Music obo Young and Vicious, co-wrote ‘Tally’ from BLACKPINK’s album, which debuted at #1 in the US, UK, and South Korea. It’s now the best-selling album by a Korean female act of all time.

5 Seconds of Summer, with members published by Sony Music Publishing, scored a UK #1 album, 5SOS5. It’s the third time 5SOS topped the Official U.K. Albums Chart, after Sounds Good Feels Good (2015) and CALM (2020). They nabbed #1 on the charts in Australia, Netherlands and Scotland, and #2 on the Billboard album chart.

Stephen Gallagher won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program for none other than The Beatles’ Get Back.

New work for Bupa’s campaign ‘Life’s ups, and downs and up-agains’ featured an original composition by Emily Lubitz and Harry Angus and published by Gaga Music.


Taylor Swift’s Midnights album dropped and went to #1 around the world, featuring Melbourne producer Keanu Beats, a writer and producer on ‘Karma’, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that the song uses a sample he made at home in 2019. Keanu is published by Sony Music Publishing.

Composer Anne Boyd AM’sThe Olive Pink Opera was premiered in Alice Springs as part of the Desert Song Festival on 7 and 8 October 2022. The opera is about the fascinating woman behind the Olive Pink Botanic Garden and was a 2019 Art Music Fund recipient.

Photo: Olive Pink Botanic Garden

It was another outstanding showing for Aussies in the Unsigned Only worldwide song competition, featuring First Place category winners Beddy Rays (Rock) and LT (Adult Album Alternative) and Second Place winner James Johnston (Country).

King Stingray premiered their Tourism Australia theme 'Down Under (Under One Sun)’, a new interpretation of the Men at Work classic. The band's version is sung in English and the Yolŋu Matha language and features additional writing by the band’s Dimathaya Burarrwanga and Roy Kellaway (Sony Music Publishing).


Chillinit, Sahxl and Barkaa all contributed to video game simulation NBA 2K23, with each writing and recording an original basketball-themed track.

‘Big Swish’ - ChillinIT
Writer: ChillinIT (Mushroom Music)

Ball ‘On Em’ - Barkaa
Writers: Barkaa (Sony Music Publishing), Dobby (Sony Music Publishing)

'The One’ - Sahxl
Writers: Sahxl, Sid Mallick


Nashville-based Lindsay Rimes achieved his second Billboard #1 with the Country Airplay chart-topper 'Whiskey On You' by Nate Smith. Lindsay’s first #1 hit was the Billions Award honouree 'Heaven' by Kane Brown. Lindsay is published by Sony Music Publishing.

Bluey became a top 10 streaming hit on Disney+ the US, with audience insights and analytics firm Nielsen reporting that the program was streamed for more than 20 billion minutes on Disney+. This converts to nearly 35 years of watching Bluey non-stop!


Talented Aotearoa producer and songwriter Frano Huett (Universal Music Publishing) and New York-via-Perth composer and bassist Linda May Han Oh were winners at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Frano was a producer and songwriter on 'Rich Spirit' from Kendrick Lamar's Best Rap Album winner Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which was also an Album of the Year contender. Art Music Awards-winning composer, Linda played bass on Terri Lyne Carrington's New Standards Vol. 1., which took home Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

At the 15th annual Schallwelle German Electronic Music Awards, Australian composer Jim Ottaway was awarded the Schallwelle Award in the ‘Der eigene Weg (Your Own Way)’ category honouring independent musicians. He was the first Australian to be nominated and to win a Schallwelle.


From New Zealand to New York! The Beths performed 'Expert in a Dying Field' for their US TV debut on CBS Saturday Morning. The song is written by frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes (Gaga Music) and band members Tristan Deck, Jonathan Pearce and Benjamin Sinclair.

Avowed Sims fan Becca Hatch gave her single ‘Blessed’ the Sims treatment for Australia’s first Sims Session. Her version is featured in The Sims 4. The song is a collaboration by Hatch, Blasko Taleski (Mushroom Music), Kian Brownfield (Kobalt Music Publishing), Caleb Williams and Thom Crawford (Sony Music Publishing).

Nashville-based The French Family Band made their Grand Ole Opry debut with their song ‘1945’, a story drawn from Stu French’s long family tradition of country music in Australia. Their performance brought the audience to their feet!


Composer Claire Cowan was named the 1st place Grand Prize Winner in the prestigious Oticons Faculty International Film Music Competition.

The Netflix Australia production Wellmania, starring Celeste Barber, hit the streamer’s global top 10 in 38 countries on release week, featuring music by screen composer Matteo Zingales. He is published by Sonar Music.


Tkay Maidza’s ‘U-huh’, co-written by Luke McKay, was featured in the trailer for Apple TV’s Platonic. She is published by Kobalt Music Publishing and Mckay by Kobalt Music Publishing obo Dew Process. She also supported Dua Lipa, Lizzo and select Billie Eilish North American dates.

Nadis Peterson and Andrew Meyer’s ‘Auckland to Medellin’ made it to #8 spot on the Official NZ Music Charts. The song was produced, mixed, mastered and distributed on the same day, all from the APRA AMCOS NZ studio space.

APRA AMCOS Ambassador Megan Washington (Origin Music Publishing) and Hannah Reilly composed original songs for the musical The Deb, which Rebel Wilson is making into a feature film.

Voyager, the Australian representatives at Eurovison made it through the finals with their song 'Promise', published by Perfect Pitch Publishing.

Jem Cassar-Daley released the single ‘King of Disappointment’, which Double J described as “uncomplicated and completely engrossing storytelling.” Jem, published by Mushroom Music, composed the song with Brendon Boney at the NATSIMO’s Resonate 2022.


Global superstar Kylie Minogue (Mushroom Music) sauntered into the UK top 10 with the Northern Hemisphere’s summer dancefloor anthem, ‘Padam Padam’. From the Official Charts: “With Top 10 hits in the 1980s, ‘90s, ‘00s, 2010s and ‘20s, Kylie becomes only the fourth female solo artist to score Top 10 hits in five consecutive decades. The other enduring chart queens are Cher, Diana Ross and Lulu, who each scored Top 10 hits in the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s.”

Alex the Astronaut’s unreleased ‘If You Have to Go’ was featured on promos for Home & Away. The song was written and produced at Pride SongHubs by Alex (Universal Music Publishing) and the camp’s special guest producer/songwriter, Mona Khoshoi (Mushroom Music), from Stockholm, Sweden.

Photo: Georgia Moloney

Composer and APRA Board Director Amanda Brown scored the Prime original series Deadloch, which reached the streamer’s top 10 globally, with music published by Universal/MCA Music Publishing.

Joel Little (Sony Music Publishing) executive produced Niall Horan’s #1 UK album The Show and co-wrote four songs on the album: ‘Heaven’, ‘If You Leave Me’, ‘Meltdown’ and ‘You Could Start a Cult'. The latter includes Australian co-writers Ruel (Universal Music Publishing) and M-Phazes.

Streaming hits by members elected in 2023

Rising stars of Australia and Aotearoa are clocking up millions of plays on streaming services. Some of the top streaming songs by new members on AU/NZ platforms Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube music include hits by South West Sydney collective The 046, Wellington rapper/producer SXMPRA, Sydney-via-New Zealand and California R&B artist Kennyon Brown, Aotearoa’s band of brothers Coterie, and a trio of WA bands Dear Sunday, Old Mervs and Dice.

Check out the playlists: Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube Music

Photos top row l-r: Coterie (photo: artist's Facebook), Dear Sunday (photo: @michael_tartaglia), Dice (photo: @michael_tartaglia). Bottom row l-r: Kennyon Brown (photo: artist's Facebook), Old Mervs (photo: @filmbycampbell), SXMPRA (photo: artist's Facebook), The 046 (photo: @snapped_by_kai)