Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Workplace Music Use Licence Scheme

Most business today provide music in their workplace – from permitting music at employee workstations to providing music at company events and in public spaces such as reception areas.

Offices, factories, workshops, warehouses, lunchrooms, industrial precincts and head offices are all regular users of ‘workplace music’. There is good reason – 75% of managers agreed that allowing staff to listen to music helps team working and bonding.[1]

Fee Calculator

We’ve provided this quick calculator to give you a guide as to licence fees payable under OneMusic.

Your Licence Fees

The Workplace Music Use fee is $2.00 including GST per Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employee in the first licence year. The minimum fee per annum is $55.00 including GST.

If you have 50.6 FTE the licence fee per annum would be $101.20, if you have 5.6 FTE the licence fee would be the $55.00 minimum fee per annum.

You will need to report your FTE figure annually, as at 1 July. The above rates are subject to CPI (inflation) adjustments.

What is an FTE?

The Full Time Equivalent (FTE) figure indicates the workload of an employed person. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker, while an FTE of 0.5 signals half of a full worker. So if you have one employee who works a 38 hour week full time and other works 19 hours, your FTE would be 1.5.

If you require assistance calculating your FTE employees, the Australian Public Services Commission guide might help.

What does the scheme cover?

The Workplace Music Use licence scheme covers:

  • Playing music in any workplace for the benefit of employees, such as in a warehouse, lunchroom, workshop or office;
  • Playing music at on-site and off-site at (non-ticketed) company events (including staff training sessions, presentations (including ‘powerpoint’ presentations), company conference or staff-only functions) where less than $50,000 is spent on musical entertainment;
  • Playing music in reception or front-of-office areas that are open to the public;
  • Copying music from legally-obtained sources for the purposes mentioned above; and
  • Allowing employees to play music at their desks during their work day (including via radios, streaming services, CD players or on headphones).

What about Background Music used elsewhere in the building?

The new OneMusic Australia Workplace Music Use licence scheme will not cover the use of background music in areas other than reception or front-of-office spaces. Publicly accessible cafés or restaurants, retail spaces or fitness areas are examples of uses where coverage is provided under a separate rate.

What about Telephone Hold Music?

The new OneMusic Australia Workplace Music Use licence scheme will not cover the use of Telephone Hold Music  where coverage is provided under a separate rate.

What about Conference Rooms we hire out?

Conference rooms which are hired or made available to third parties also require coverage under a separate rate.

What about music on our website?

Certain limited uses of music on your website are available from OneMusic under a separate rate, otherwise you will need to contact APRA AMCOS and PPCA directly for advice on appropriate licence arrangements.

What about music in video material?

The Workplace Music Use licence scheme does not cover the synchronisation of music with video footage, for example in corporate videos or training videos. As is the case before OneMusic further permissions are required for this type of use which can only be obtained directly from music publishers and record companies.

What about special events at work?

Events may be held on-site or off-site and must be non-ticketed. Events are restricted to those open only to your workplace community (that is, staff, family, clients or members) and exclude public-facing or promotional activities.

Many workplaces contract high-end performers to entertain clients and staff at company events.  If your company spends more than $50,000 at one event on artists (whether that is a DJs or a live artists or performer) a different licence scheme applies.

What is the difference between communicating music and copying music?

If your business’ workplace music system uses music from a hard drive or other device onto which you have copied music from CDs etc or a personal digital music service or digital download service you need to be licensed for copying and communicating the music.

Under this licence scheme, businesses are restricted to making no more than 500 combined copies of recordings in any licence year.

Note that the final form of the definitions may change for drafting purposes in the published licence scheme. We may also add further definitions if required.

[1]According to surveys by VisionCritical in April 2012 and DJS Research in June 2013. Further information on these sources is available here: