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News October 21, 2021

APRA AMCOS posts record results, as COVID strips revenue from live music

Senior Journalist, B2B
APRA AMCOS posts record results, as COVID strips revenue from live music

Mostly excellent, but not without pain.

That’s how APRA AMCOS could describe its full-year financial results, which see collections lift above the half-billion-dollar mark for the first time, while the effects of the pandemic damages areas of the business exposed to live entertainment.

Today, the Australasian rights management organisation posts group revenue of $506.9 million for 2020-21, up 6.8% from the corresponding year-before period.

Distributable revenue to members on both sides of the Tasman came in at $422.6 million, up 8.7%.

“Obviously from an overall APRA AMCOS point of view for ANZ, it’s a really positive result, a milestone result for us,” Chief Executive Dean Ormston tells TIO.

“It’s good growth, driven by digital.”

While millions of music lovers were locked down at home, many logged onto their favourite streaming brand. Digital generated the lion’s share of revenue at $241.1 million, up from $206 million, a $47.6% gain.

Dean Ormston

Dean Ormston

But it wasn’t all good news.

Those sides of the business facing performance and the live industry were punished.

As tens of thousands of businesses were forced to shut up shop, or operate with strict capacities, the sting could be felt in the PRO’s general licence business. One Music Australia “has been heavily impacted,” adds Ormston, generating just two-thirds of pre-pandemic results.

Concerts and events in Australia and New Zealand generated just $5.1 million during the reporting period, down from $19.6 million the previous year, and just 20.5% of the $24.9 million posted in 2018-19.

“As a group,” Ormston adds, “we’ve been able to weather that storm.”

In other highlights of the annual report, income from international sources grew by more than 10% to $60.2 million, a new record; while 47,597 APRA members earned royalties in Australia; and 19,880 APRA members earned money from overseas.

As Australians roll up a sleeve, and double-vaccination levels around the country approach or pass the 80% benchmark, at which point restrictions are eased, the light at the end of the tunnel is glowing brighter.

There’s so much more work to be done. Ormston reiterated calls for a business interruption insurance scheme and urged government to continue providing income support and assistance to those in need.

“You need bureaucrats to lean in and line up a policy that is consistent across the state and state borders and we’re not seeing that at the moment,” he explains.

“Many articles point out the policy that relates to sport and how it differs completely to anything in the live space. That needs to be addressed. When you look at capacity in venues, you have to make sure the capacities are consistent.

“What we’re saying to state and federal governments is, this needs to be solved by the national cabinet. We’re a national industry and we have a clear export focus.”


This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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