OneMusic Australia FAQs

OneMusic Australia is being developed to bring a simple modern solution to music copyright licensing and compliance. The initiative was driven by what business had been asking for, for decades. Getting a music licence needed to become simpler. APRA AMCOS and PPCA listened and developed OneMusic Australia.

Will a licence cost more under OneMusic Australia?

Our aim is to maintain a similar scale of licence fees to that of the current combined fees payable to APRA AMCOS and PPCA, although there will be some adjustments which means some sectors and some individual businesses will experience a slight increase and others a slight decrease in licence fees. Any fee increases are likely be phased in over several years and only necessary to partially adjust for long periods of unchanged fees.

The review and launch may have an unintended impact on business outgoings as some business have been unknowingly risking infringement by being only PARTLY licensed for music.

This is consistent with the mission of both APRA AMCOS and PPCA to make sure all music-using businesses are fully protected. This ensures a level playing field for all businesses.

What else will change?

Of immense frustration to business owners, our two organisations have been measuring music use in different ways for many years. That will change. There will be one measure of the scale of your music use, developed sector by sector. Your music use will only need to be given to one organisation. Between APRA AMCOS and PPCA, there are more than 140,000 public performance music licences held by businesses across Australia, so this will represent a huge cut to red tape.

How are you developing the licence fees? Can I have a say?

The new licences will be developed in consultation with industry associations, large franchises and chains and single- operator licensees.

We’re keen to hear recommendations. We generally allow six weeks for each round of concultation papers.

We’re open to feedback, formal and informal and providing a submission to a consultation paper for your sector is the best way to have your voice heard.

Until we launch, it is of vital importance for all music-using businesses to check they are correctly licensed by both APRA AMCOS and PPCA so you have a smooth transition to the new structure.

When will this happen?

OneMusic Australia is expected to launch in the first half of 2019. This allows time for APRA AMCOS and PPCA to consult widely and adjust the licence structures as needed. This is the biggest overhaul of the country’s music licensing system in almost a century.

Will my business be on a different licence altogether?

We will need to move you onto a new licence agreement once OneMusic Australia launches.

Will the payment process change?

We are creating a “one-stop-shop” e-commerce website that will allow you to build your licence based on your music use and business type. You will be able to transact online using common payment methods such as BPAY, credit card and direct debit authorisations.

Australian businesses have said they want red tape drastically cut. In fact, the Australian Small Business Ombudsman’s recent survey called this out as one of the top three issues affecting business. Removing this two-licence barrier and introducing an e-commerce website will make legal music use seamless.

To remove the frustration of having an APRA AMCOS licence renewal due in one month and PPCA renewal due in another month, you’ll be pleased to know we are working with you towards aligning these dates to make your transition to OneMusic Australia easier.

What gives OneMusic Australia the right to issue a licence for music use?

To encourage innovation and creativity and to continue to stimulate benefits to the economy, most countries have laws protecting copyright and other types of intellectual property. Australia’s copyright law is largely contained in the Copyright Act 1968.

Businesses and other organisations must comply with Australian copyright law in the same way they would other laws and regulations, such as consumer laws, privacy laws and fair trading laws.

Musical works are protected under Australian copyright law, which grants the copyright owner/s of a musical work exclusive control of certain uses of their music by other people.

In most cases, businesses and organisations must obtain permission from the copyright owner/s before using musical works in those ways. If you do so without permission, you risk liability for copyright infringement.

As you can imagine, it could take quite some time to obtain separate permission for each song or track your business uses – that’s where rights management organisations like APRA AMCOS and PPCA can help.

Is this a new company? Isn’t this a monopoly?

Together, APRA AMCOS and PPCA are able to grant permission to millions of songs which makes us the largest in the Australian market, but there are other choices for business, so there is no monopoly. You can seek permission from the rights holders directly, you can cease to use original music, or you can be separately licensed by APRA AMCOS and PPCA to continue to play original music.

This is a joint initiative, similar in concept to arrangements between airlines Qantas and Emirates. Just as Qantas passengers book one ticket to fly on both airlines improving the customer experience, OneMusic Australia customers buy one licence covering the rights of both songwriters and recording artists to play their music. Qantas and Emirates remain two separate companies. APRA AMCOS and PPCA remain two separate companies.

PPCA will sub-license on a non-exclusive basis certain rights to APRA AMCOS. APRA AMCOS, with input from PPCA, will then be contracted to manage public performance licensing through OneMusic Australia for both parties.

We have been openly discussing this new joint licensing venture with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) and have also been liaising extensively with industry bodies to ensure the transition is smooth and the licences are fair and reasonable.

Will all licences fall under OneMusic Australia?

At this stage, OneMusic Australia will encompass a huge number of APRA AMCOS and PPCA’s existing licences for the performance of music in business. Some licensing will remain separately managed by the two organisations. For example, TV and radio broadcast, digital music services and record label licensing arrangements will remain as they currently are.

Are my details confidential?

For existing licensees, the two organisations have not shared information to generate leads. When OneMusic Australia launches, the two data bases will be merged for business efficiency and to ensure that all PPCA’s and APRA AMCOS’ existing licenses are covered by OneMusic Australia.

For new businesses we contact and license, we advise them upfront, in writing, that APRA AMCOS may disclose their details to PPCA (and vice versa) to ensure, for their benefit, they have comprehensive licence cover.

Both organisations are fully compliant with the Privacy Act (1988).

Will the repertoire change?

There will be no reduction in the repertoire we have the rights to license. We will continue to provide permission to access to millions of original songs. Our licence offers by far the biggest originals ‘play-list’ (repertoire) in the Australian music marketplace.

What is APRA AMCOS?

APRA AMCOS is the trading name of APRA and AMCOS. Before 1997, APRA and AMCOS were two separate organisations. In response to feedback from music creators and music customers that they’d rather deal with one organisation, in 1997, APRA and AMCOS formed an alliance.

APRA stands for the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited and AMCOS stands for the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited.

APRA AMCOS grants licences for the live performance, broadcast, communication, public playing or reproduction of its members’ musical works. APRA AMCOS then distributes the licence fees collected to its over 95,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, and affiliated societies worldwide.

What is PPCA?

PPCA is the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd. PPCA grants licences for the broadcast, communication or public playing of recorded music (such as CDs, records and digital downloads or streams) or music videos. PPCA then distributes the net licence fees collected to its licensors (generally record labels) and registered recording artists.

What if I don’t use music?

Business owners can make a decision to use music or not. We accept that there is a small percentage of businesses who do not wish to have music playing including because they claim it costs too much and of course, no licence is required in these cases.

If your business does not use any copyright music in any areas of the business you will not need a licence from the music creators represented by APRA AMCOS and PPCA, and therefore by OneMusic Australia.

Please be aware that under Australian copyright law as a business if you use any copyright music that falls within APRA AMCOS’s or PPCA’s repertoire, you must ensure that you have permission for this use, from them or the content owners themselves. Without a licence for ALL copyright music use in your business you are in breach of copyright legislation.

As a safeguard, it is wise to advise us immediately if you use music in your business in any way. This applies to all areas of your business – office, warehouse, front reception area, retail space, yards and outdoor areas.

What is covered by my current licence?

The introduction of OneMusic Australia represents the perfect opportunity for businesses to review their licences and to make sure that their details are correct and their coverage is up to date. APRA AMCOS and PPCA are able to send you a breakdown of what you are currently licensed for and when that licence is due for renewal. They can also help you ensure that your business is adequately licensed for your use of music, including if you currently have a licence from one organisation, but need a licence from both.

Will distribution processes change with OneMusic Australia?

No. We are completely transparent on the method of royalty distribution. APRA AMCOS’ distribution model has been available for public viewing for decades. PPCA distribution practices are also found on their website.

We take paying the RIGHT copyright owner their royalties very seriously. If we don’t know precisely what music was playing in your business we use the best available data (streaming, music charts, box office reports, TV programs commercial and community radio reports, and various other sources) and approximate music use in your business.

We look forward to the day that someone invents a feasible device that sends live usage data back to us for every song played in every business in Australia. We are constantly looking at new technologies and opportunities to collect music use data more efficiently. We are already an innovator in new technologies to capture music use at nightclubs.

What do I need to do now?

The two organisations will be in touch with you to align the renewal date for your existing licences and to keep you updated on OneMusic Australia.

Most importantly, in order to remain fully compliant and avoid copyright infringement, it is imperative that you continue to maintain your existing licences if you use music in your business.

Music is one of the bedrocks of our society and our culture – but it needs respect in the form of payments for its use in a business setting.