APRA AMCOS achieved a record revenue of $333 million in the 2015-16 financial year, the APRA AMCOS Year in Review report has revealed. Of the total, $258 million was APRA’s, representing a record 12% growth rate over year, while $75 million belonged to AMCOS, representing a 7% annual growth rate. The net distributable revenue was $285.5 million, 8.73% higher than 2014-15.
Chief executive Brett Cottle AM, in his official message, described the year as “exceptional”, despite the impact of “heavy investment in new systems”. This impact saw the expense to revenue ratio reach 15.16%.
The main growth driver was digital revenue, which climbed from $47 million to $68 million. Digital revenue includes downloads, subscription and ad-funded streaming services, video on demand, websites and user-generated services. Mr Cottle said “streaming rapidly and decisively gained commercial ascendancy over downloading”.
Another important area was international revenue, which jumped by 12.5% to hit 38.3 million. Responsible for much of this were world-famous songwriters, such as Lorde, Gotye, Sia, Flume, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett and Troye Sivan. Mr Cottle described them as “a generation of writers who see their audience and market in global, rather than local, terms.”
At the same time, traditional sources also brought increased revenue. Public performance licence fees were just shy of $69 million, demonstrating 6% growth, and broadcasting revenue totalled $114 million, having grown by 4.6%. Broadcasting includes radio and television, such as subscription television fees, which grew by 13% to $24 million.
$1.2 million of APRA AMCOS’s revenue went towards supporting 174 music projects via APRA music grants.
Meanwhile, APRA’s membership hit 89,421, representing a jump of 3.99%, and AMCOS’s reached 16,054, up 5.98%. There were 1,236 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, which was a 7.66% increase.
1,057, 981 songs and compositions earned royalties, which were paid to 248,994 songwriters, composers and publishers. And 142,378 businesses across Australia and New Zealand were licensed.
Mr Cottle concluded by pointing out that, despite such growth, “it continues to aggravate, surprise and disappoint that governments on both sides of the Tasman fail to treat music as a commercial art form worthy of support or investment at a level that is reasonable and proportionate to other creative art forms. Even the most modest programs – delivering obvious and major benefits – such as Sounds Australia and the Live Music Office, have come under short-sighted and ill-informed threat. It’s long past time that governments and their advisors woke up and listened to the music.”