Record breaking royalties year for Australian artists

Australian singer/songwriters have seen a bumper year for royalties, with record royalty collections driven by exponential streaming growth, and royalty payments increasing by 17.7% on last year.

Of the $386.6M in revenue, digital royalties contributed $110.3m, an increase of $42.5m on the previous year.  

Songwriting royalties paid by music streaming services in Australia has delivered 546 per cent growth in just the last three years. The rapid adoption by Australian consumers eclipses that even of television in the 1950s or mobile phones in the 1990s.

Brett Cottle, Chief Executive said, “The rise and rise of consumer subscriptions to music and video streaming services was the key factor underpinning our revenue growth during the year. We estimate that there are now nearly four million subscriptions to one or other of these services across Australia and New Zealand.”

Streaming has given Australian songwriters and composers unprecedented access to a global audience. Growth in royalties earned overseas saw 1,576 more APRA members receive a royalty payment in FY 16/17. 18,052 members earned an income from their works being played overseas. APRA members enjoyed a new record of royalties earned from their songs being played/performed overseas – $43.5m, an increase of 13.6 per cent year on year, and 199.5 per cent growth over five years, proving Australian music export is worthy of investment. Songwriters making an impact on the world stage include Sia, Vance Joy, Flume, Joel Little, Lorde, Samuel Dixon and Cookin’ on 3 Burners.

  • Total royalties payable to songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies (net distributable revenue) $335.9m, 17.7 per cent year on year growth.
  • Streaming royalties $62.2m, 127 per cent year on year growth.
  • Royalties earned overseas $43.5m, 13.6 per cent year on year growth.
  • Video on Demand royalties $14.1m, 69.9 per cent year on year growth.

The full report is available here


“Over the year collections from the oldest of our core business activity, public performance licensing grew from $70.7m to $77.7m, a remarkable achievement in a patchy economic environment and one that will be significantly built on when we launch our joint licensing operation with Australian record labels late in 2018,” said Cottle.

Live revenue had a bumper year, up 15.9 per cent, driven largely by major concert tours such as Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Adele, where Australian support acts included Rose Tattoo, Wolfmother, Sheppard and Jess Kent.

Brett Cottle has announced he will step down from his role in June 2018, after 28 years leading the organisation.

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