APRA administers the public performance and communication right in our members' musical works. We do this by collecting royalties for the performance and communication of music from a number of sources. We enter into licence agreements with radio and television stations, discos, fitness centres, cinemas, live concert promoters, and other businesses that provide music for their customers. For example: either through a music on hold system or via webcast over the internet. In return for the right to perform or communicate music, these clients pay us a licence fee.
In order to work out how these royalties should be allocated, APRA needs to monitor what music is being performed or communicated, and how often. As part of their licence agreements, our clients provide detailed reports of their music use, either by keeping full records or by taking part in a survey system. The aim is to obtain as accurate a picture of music use as possible, with as low administrative overheads as possible.
This data is then added to APRA’s central database and matched against the musical works and audio-visual productions already logged. APRA staff research new works to identify the writers and publishers of the music and to obtain the corresponding music cue sheets in the case of audio-visual productions.
Separate revenue pools are created for the each of the several hundred performance sources we analyse. For example, copyright owners in music broadcast on TV3 share directly in the licence fees paid by TV3.
When each performance or communication is entered into APRA’s database it is given a number of “credit points”. The amount of credit points is governed by factors such as the duration of the performance, the way in which the music was used (for example, background, featured or jingle) and, on free to air television, the time of day that the broadcast took place.
Credit points in each distribution pool are allocated a dollar value by dividing the total number of credit points in the pool into the pool’s distributable licence fee. APRA then determines the royalty allocation to each copyright owner for that distribution period.
To find out more about the rules and practices for how royalties are allocated, as well as the schedule for payment, please refer to the links below:
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