November 9, 2017

APRA AMCOS posts record year: Streaming revenue grew 127% in Australia last FY

APRA AMCOS posts record year: Streaming revenue grew 127% in Australia last FY

A remarkable 127% growth in streaming revenue in Australia and New Zealand over the last year to $62.2 million – along with a 13.6% leap in international revenue to $43.5 million – helped APRA AMCOS deliver a record year in both licence fee collections and royalty distributions.

Its 2016/17 financial report revealed that combined gross revenue for both societies rose by more than $50 million (or 16%) to $386.6 million, and will likely exceed $400 million in the 2017/18 financial year. 

Breaking it down, APRA’s gross collections rose by 13.3% to $292.8 million (excluding AMCOS management fees), while AMCOS revenue grew by nearly 26% to $93.8 million.

After the deduction of operational expenses, Net Distributable Revenue – the amount available for distribution to members and affiliated societies – grew by 17.7%, or $48.6 million, over the year to $335.9 million. 

According to the report, “The rise and rise of consumer subscriptions to music and video streaming services was the key factor underpinning revenue growth during the year.

“Digital revenue – comprising licence fee collections from streaming services, paid downloads, video on demand and user-generated content – increased from $68 million to $110 million across the group during the year.”

“Over the past six years paying subscribers to streaming services has increased from 900,000 to over 4 million – which is hugely important as our songwriters see in the region of 500% more per stream in revenue compared to ad-funded or free services,” Dean Ormston, Head of Member Services, told TMN.

“At the same time that we are seeing homegrown revenue from [streaming] increase, streaming has democratised discovery in international markets for many of our members, and as a result opened up international touring and revenue opportunities, so there’s a definite link there.”

That international revenue, which has virtually doubled since 2013, grew at a similar rate as domestic revenue was a reflection of the global success of songwriters in both Australia and NZ.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in our foreign revenue over the past five years – in fact a 99.5% increase in the money returned to Australian songwriters for the performances of their works overseas,” added Ormston.

“There’s more Australian songwriters and artist working internationally and ‘exporting’ than at anytime before. 

“There are of course the big names we know, like Sia, Flume, Vance Joy and Courtney Barnett.

“But there’s also a group working behind the scenes writing for others like Sarah Aarons (’Stay’ for Zedd), Ben Abraham (’Praying’ for Kesha), and Samuel Dixon (’Love In The Dark’ for Adele).”

 

Other noteworthy stats relate to APRA’s sources of revenue and member numbers:

APRA’s revenues took a hit…

While licence fee collections from broadcasters (radio and TV, free and subscription) remains the principal source of revenue across the group, revenue from this sector was down slightly to $125.3 million from $127.6 million. 

Network Ten going into administration in June meant that APRA has deducted the $3.1 million owed to it by the network. But this may change according to Ten’s new ownership.

 

…but there was growth in secondary sources

Of other revenue breakdown, education was up 3.5% to $13.5 million, recording up 3.4% to $130 million, and “other” rose 0.5% to $2.1 million.

 

Live music sector is growing

Live music revenue, driven by major concert tours in the period, generated $20.4 million, a rise of 15.9%.

It was a sign of the health of the ANZ music sectors, and was included in the $77.7 million from public performance licensing operations – which also includes music in the workplace, background music in restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and fitness classes. 

This figure is expected to rise in coming years with the launch in late 2018 of OneMusic Australia, its joint licensing operation with Australian record labels.

This has already been in operation in New Zealand for three years, and which posted a 10.2% revenue growth.

 

APRA memberships are on the rise too 

APRA members now number 94,940 (up 8.2%) while AMCOS’s membership rose 7.8% to 17,325.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members is now 1,284 – up 7.3%.

By gender, APRA membership makes up 78.1% male and 21.9% female – a disparity which the societies are actively addressing through a number of initiatives for reaching out to women. Its own staff is made up of 171 females and 164 male.

Through the period, APRA AMCOS held 462 events attended by 8,521 members, while music projects funded by APRA reached 154.