Your work in ensuring songwriters and composers get paid when their work is used commercially is vital to the music industry. We can help you by ensuring royalties are paid efficiently and accurately. With Earnings Insights you can see how your catalogue earns royalties at a glance.
We advocate strongly on behalf of our music publisher members to uphold music's value.
What you need before you apply as a music publisher member
If you have formed a publishing company and wish to become a publisher member, you'll need to meet the following requirements:
You have registered and are operating a bona fide music publishing business in Australia, New Zealand and/or a South Pacific Nation.
You must have a signed standard publishing agreement with a minimum of one writer who is a member of APRA or an affiliated international PRO (Performing Rights Organisation), or who has a signed sub-publishing agreement with a foreign publisher that represents a minimum of one writer who is a member of an affiliated international PRO.
Your standard publishing agreement must include a clause recognising the prior and/or subsequent assignment of performing rights by the composer/songwriter to APRA or an affiliated international PRO.
You control copyright in a minimum of one work which has been recorded for commercial release or published in some other form (by right of above publishing agreement).
You must have a local bank account located in Australia, New Zealand or a South Pacific Nation.
You can provide a Certificate of Registration of a Business Name or Company from ASIC or the NZ Companies Office, which must match the company/business name on your application.
The ‘status’ of your ABN, IRD or NZBN on your application must be active/registered and cannot change once elected.
You can provide a document listing the names, email addresses and phone numbers of the office holders of the Company. We will also expect details on legal songwriter agreements with writers.
Register your music publishing agreements
Once you're a member, you are required to register all the agreements you have with your writers. You'll also be expected to register each one of your writers’ works that you control, on an ongoing basis. Your agreements must outline:
The term of your agreement (start/end dates)
Your entitlement, if any, to the collection of royalties prior to start date
The territories covered under your agreement
Whether you are to cover the general catalogue or specific works (you must provide the list of specific works)
The writer/publisher split (for performing rights your publishing company cannot claim greater than 50%)
What rights are covered under your agreement, for example:
Performing—public performance/communication of a song through live performance, broadcast on radio, TV, download, streamed
Mechanical—song reproduced in physical/digital form via CD, vinyl, download, streamed
Synchronisation—song used in conjunction with moving picture/film
Print—song printed into sheet music
Are you ready to become a publisher member and have all the required documents?
Once you successfully complete the initial assessment, you'll receive application forms for publisher membership via email. Once you have returned the completed, signed and witnessed application forms, they will be submitted to the APRA AMCOS Board for review. The Board meet approximately every 2 months.
When the APRA & AMCOS Board are satisfied that you meet the basic criteria, you can be elected as a publisher member.
Songwriter & composer membership
In some countries, forming a music publishing company is necessary to collect reproduction royalties, but this isn't the case in Australia.
You only need to become a music publisher member if you represent other writers’ catalogues. If you're a songwriter who only represents your own catalogue you should make sure you’ve joined APRA and, if you are unpublished, AMCOS as a writer member.