How are the royalties calculated?
For songs that are played on the radio
APRA’s and AMCOS’ distribution policies use a ‘points’ system to determine royalties to be allocated to each song. For radio broadcasts, these points are based on the length of the song (duration). For any song which has a broadcast duration between 1 minute and 6 minutes, a standard 12-point value is applied in both APRA and AMCOS distributions. If the broadcast was less than 1 minute, APRA and AMCOS both allocate one point per 15 seconds of duration, and for songs longer than 6 minutes APRA applies a value of 2 points per 15 seconds and AMCOS applies a value of 1 point per 15 seconds. If a station does not provide a duration for a song, the broadcast will receive 12 points. Each song’s points value is then multiplied by the number of performances of the song to calculate the total points for that song.
Once the total points have been aggregated for all songs broadcast on that station, the total revenue collected from that station is divided by the total sum of all the points, resulting in a $ rate per point. This rate is then multiplied by the number of points allocated to a song, resulting in the royalty amount payable for that song.
If the copyright owner is not a member of APRA or AMCOS but one of our overseas affiliates, we pay the money to the affiliated overseas society that represents them.
It’s important to note that we keep each commercial radio station separate when performing these calculations to ensure that the royalties being paid out are commensurate to the licence fees that we received. For example, the licence fees paid to APRA by radio station Triple M Sydney are distributed as royalties only to the copyright owners of the songs that were broadcast by Triple M Sydney.
It should also be noted that the data we receive from commercial radio stations is also used to allocate royalties from other licence schemes: for example, narrowcast radio and many public performance uses.
Music that is reported to have been used for non-playlist purposes such as news and weather themes, etc. is included in each station’s distribution pool, and receives 50% of the per point value of regular songs that are played on the radio.
Advertisements reported via Music Recognition Technology
Royalties for music used in advertisements are distributed using different pools from the regular music played on the radio. The size of these pools is determined by calculating the amount of music used in advertisements and CSAs as a percentage of total music broadcast hours on commercial radio. This percentage is then applied to each radio station’s total distributable amount to arrive at a value for the pool. We receive this additional information on reporting forms which are completed by radio stations, and which identify the amount of advertising on each station and the comparable use of commissioned music, general music and production music.
Where MRT is used, one point is given for each second of music duration. The total number of points is then multiplied by the number of times each advertisement or CSA is broadcast. MRT reports also contain information on the time of day the advertisement or CSA was broadcast, and we weight these points according to the time of day they were broadcast to reflect relative audience reach on a day-part basis, (e.g. the audience size of an advertisement broadcast during breakfast would be greater than, say, the audience at 3:00am).
The following sets out how points are weighted based on time of day:
Time of day weighting
- 100% - 5:30am – 6:59pm
- 50% - 7:00pm – 11:59pm
- 10% - 12:00am – 5:59am
Advertisements claimed via Jingle Reporting Forms
For advertisements that are reported by our members through Jingle Reporting Forms, these are paid at a standard rate based on an average duration of 30 seconds for each advertisement or community service announcement. The total value is determined by the length of the campaign and the area in which the advertisement was broadcast.
For the reproduction of songs made by radio broadcasters
To be able to broadcast music, radio stations need to be able to reproduce recordings of music onto their broadcast systems and into promotional material. To cover these reproductions, 6% of each station’s licence fees is distributed to the mechanical copyright owners of the songs being reproduced. This is split into two pools, Production Music and General Playlist. Broadcasters provide AMCOS with information about which production music songs are used, while General Playlist information is extracted from electronic reports provided to APRA.
How often are royalties paid?
Distributions for Australian and New Zealand commercial radio stations are calculated and paid quarterly. This includes music used in advertisements and community service announcements. The mechanical share is also distributed quarterly by AMCOS.
Royalties for music reported directly by our members using Jingle Reporting Forms are paid annually.
What about songs that cannot be identified or are the subject of a dispute?
View our information guide on Unidentified Songs and Disputes for more information.