News August 15, 2018

APRA AMCOS strikes landmark licensing deal with Facebook, songwriters to be remunerated for music usage

APRA AMCOS strikes landmark licensing deal with Facebook, songwriters to be remunerated for music usage

Songwriters will now be remunerated for the use of their music copyrights on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger thanks to a landmark deal with APRA AMCOS.

The agreement with Facebook, announced this morning, sees the licensing of millions of songs from APRA AMCOS’ 95,000 Australian, New Zealand and international members, including songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Facebook has a growing community of more than two billion people globally.

“We are delighted to be working with Facebook to ensure the creative content of our members and affiliates that is used on the platform is fairly remunerated,” said APRA AMCOS chief executive Dean Ormston.

Ormston says the deal will provide “peace of mind” when it comes to compensation for music rights holders.

“Whether it’s live music or digital, the sustainability of Australian and New Zealand music relies on our industry working in partnership with platforms like Facebook to support new developments in music consumption, ensure the public has access to great music and that music creators have a sustainable industry that supports their careers,” Mr Ormston said.

Most recently, Facebook has done global deals with the major labels as well as Merlin, which represents more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors. It is understood that the current music deals with Facebook involve ‘blind’ advances paid out to rights-holders, and at this point are not tied to music usage data.

As part of the agreement, Facebook and APRA AMCOS will be working together to develop its rights reporting system.

“In the meantime, to ensure members benefit from the deal as soon as possible, the APRA and AMCOS Boards have approved a distribution practice that uses a mix of direct and analogous data (from other digital sources) until Facebook’s reporting system is fully implemented across their licensed platforms,” their website reads.

“Deals of this size, with global industry players usually take a few months, and Facebook was no exception,” Richard Mallet, head of revenue told TMN.

“Relative to other deals and thanks to both sides approaching discussions with good grace and a desire to improve arrangements for writers and publishers it was a relatively short turn around.”

“We look forward to developing innovative ways to use music-related features to help people connect with each other, their communities and their favourite artists,” said Anjali Southward, head of international music publishing business development.

Mallet says that the deal commenced in early 2018, and songwriters can expect the first payment “shortly”.

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