Music copyright organisation APRA|AMCOS this week announced that it has distributed 14% more in royalties to its members in the 2011/12 financial year, confirming a strengthening digital download market and revealing a growing interest in Australian songwriters internationally.
APRA|AMCOS, the joint organisation that distributes royalties to Australian and New Zealand artists for everything their music is used for, including public performances, music used in fitness centres or in film or television, CDs, DVDs and digital downloads, has released encouraging figures showing increases almost across the board in revenue, as well as in royalties being paid to its members.
The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), which collects and distributes music royalties for public performances, broadcasts and online communications, reported a 1.5% revenue increase to $185.7 million, but it was revenue from the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), which collects and distributes royalties from physical sales, digital downloads and other reproductions of music, that grew by more than 25% to $71.7 million over the 2011/12 financial year.
Overall, this translated into a 14% increase in the royalties being paid to artists across 2011/12, as confirmed by APRA|AMCOS Chief Executive, Brett Cottle.
In a year in which APRA’s revenue grew marginally and AMCOS’s grew exceptionally, the real story has been the significant increase in distributions paid to members and to affiliated societies.
Total royalty distributions grew by $28.9 million across the two societies, to $236.9 million – an increase of 13.9% on the preceding year.
APRA revenue has been growing steadily over the last few years, up $34.6 million from $151.1 million in June 2008, representing an 18.6% increase over the last 4 years.
AMCOS, on the other hand, has struggled some years, reporting a small decrease in 2010, but has made an impressive comeback, recording a substantial 34.4% increase overall from the $47 million reported 4 years ago.
Revenue from digital downloads and online sources alone grew by 17.9% to $35.6 million in 2011/12, representing almost half of the total mechanical royalties distributed.
The report also noted a record $22.1 million for international revenue for Australasian music creators. This 9.1% increase confirms the growing international interest in the work of Australian songwriters, making Australia the sixth largest recording market in the world.
All in all, over 244,623 writers and publishers received an APRA distribution payment this past financial year, representing nearly a quarter of a million unique musical works.
It’s worth noting that during the period being reported on, Gotye’s smash single, “Somebody That I Used to Know” featuring New Zealand musician Kimbra, was released, selling over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone and reaching No. 1 on iTunes charts in 46 countries.