Dance Schools and Performance Instructors

Music licences for dance and performance schools and instructors

Music is an essential part of a Dance School. A OneMusic licence will allow you to use virtually any commercially released music - our music - to keep your students 'on their toes'.

 Please note that while you may have paid for a copy of the syllabus music this does not actually provide permission to publicly perform our music – that’s where OneMusic can come in!

This Dance and Performance Instructors and Dance Schools licence scheme is designed for our music used in a dance school or when tutoring clients in dance, acting or performance. You may teach line dancing, ballet, square dancing, jazz, hip hop, drama, theatre jazz, lyrical, belly dancing, latin, ballroom or folk right through to acro, aerial silks, acting and voice performance training. Our music used in classes, lessons, rehearsals, dance events and concerts, recitals and performances are all part of this licence scheme. Learn more about how the licence fee for this scheme was set.

This scheme excludes Zumba classes which are covered in the Fitness Centre and Fitness and Wellbeing Instructors scheme.

Get a simple & quick online quote if you need a licence for 1-5 locations:


If you have 6 or more locations, please complete and download your licence agreement, then contact us at hello@onemusic.com.au:

I have already paid for music provided as part of a syllabus why do I have to pay OneMusic again to license it for public performance?

Organisations that provide syllabus music where the work and/or the sound recording is protected by copyright pay a fee to reproduce the music onto a CD, digital file, or other media as part of their business.

As those organisations are the ones reproducing the music, the onus is on them to make sure the appropriate rights for that reproduction are cleared.

A separate right is the PUBLIC PERFORMANCE right, that is, the right to play that music as part of your business. For any business that plays music that is protected by copyright in a public performance – for example a dance school, a shop, a bar, a venue for hire, or a gym – the onus is on them to make sure the appropriate rights for that public performance are cleared.

Why do I need a licence when I use a digital music service in my dance business?

According to their Terms of Use, the digital music services that most of us use at home may only be used for personal and domestic purposes. However, whatever the source of the music used at your dance business, if you use OneMusic Australia’s music then you’ll still need a licence from OneMusic to play it in your business.

In addition, if you copy OneMusic Australia’s music, for instance from one CD to another, or you stream it from a personal digital music service, then you’ll also need coverage called “Digital Copy/Delivery".

You should be aware that a OneMusic Australia licence, even when it includes Digital Copy/Delivery only gives you permission to use our music in your dance business (or dance event); it does not override the Terms of Use for the personal digital music service you are using, nor does it give you permission to use that particular digital music service for a commercial purpose – that permission can only come from the owners of that digital music service.

Even with our licence, the use of digital music streaming services by you in your dance business may be in breach of the terms and conditions of your end user agreement with that service. You should check with your service provider.

You may be better to consider a commercially licensed digital music service. We have compiled a list of these music services in the Background Music Guide.

What is Audio Recording/Digital Package? How do I know if I need the extra rights?

You will require the Audio Recording/Digital Package if you download or access our music for your business from a non commercial digital music service.

You should be aware that a OneMusic Australia licence, even when it includes Audio Recording/Digital Package only gives you permission to use our music in your business; it does not override the Terms of Use for the personal digital music service you are using, nor does it give you permission to use that particular digital music service for a commercial purpose – that permission can only come from the owners of that digital music service.

Even with our licence, the use of digital music (streaming) services by you in your business may be in breach of the terms and conditions of your end user agreement with that service. You should check with your service provider.

You will also need a licence from us that includes Audio Recording/Digital Package if you make any physical or digital copies of our music (such as copying one CD to another, or copying a digital download file).

By choosing Audio Recording/Digital Package, you are entitled to copy up to 2,000 music tracks. You do not need to include Audio Recording/Digital Package in your licence if you are only playing our music from original CDs that you have bought (and not subsequently copied) or you’re playing our music from a commercial background music service (see a list of background music services is available here backgroundmusicguide.com.au).

Depending on your use of our music and the arrangements the background music service has with OneMusic Australia, you may not need to get a licence directly from OneMusic Australia. Your background music service provider may already include a OneMusic Australia licence as part of its service package. Check either with us or your commercial music supplier to confirm.

Under OneMusic Australia’s Dance and Performance Instructors and Dance Schools licence, we calculate fees for “Audio Recording/Digital Package” at per-student rate, using the average number of students you have enrolled in a year.

When do I NOT need a licence for Audio Recording/Digital Package?

You do not need to include Audio Recording/Digital Package in your OneMusic Australia licence if you are only playing our music from original CDs that you have bought (and not subsequently copied) or you’re playing our music from a commercial background music service such as “Apple Music for Business” or another background music provider (a list of background music services is available here - backgroundmusicguide.com.au).

Depending on your use of our music and the arrangements your background music service has with OneMusic Australia (or music creators directly), you may not need to get a licence directly from OneMusic Australia. Check with us or your background music supplier to confirm which permissions are included in your service.

What happens when I film dance performances or post them on social media?

If you are recording routines or performances with commercial music and posting those videos on social media, then you’ll need to ensure you have a separate ‘synchronisation’ licence for the use of that music in your video.

A ‘synchronisation’ licence is needed whenever music is used within an audio-visual production, such as a film, TV show, advertisement, video game, social media video etc.

Social media platforms such as YouTube do have licences with rights holders, but those licences DO NOT cover “synchronisations” made for commercial purposes.

So, if you use commercial music (you know, the music you hear on the radio) in your video and that video is placed on social media, then it may be ‘taken down’ (that is removed) by the platform if it’s seen as being a video for commercial purposes, like promoting your dance school.

Getting a “synchronisation” licence for your video using commercial music is often expensive and difficult. However, you can “synchronise” music into your business videos with what’s known as “Production Music” or “Royalty Free” music. Production Music is a low-cost way to get music on your videos and when you play those videos on the vast majority of social media platforms the use is already covered by that platform’s licence, so you don’t need any additional licences (other than the initial “synchronisation” licence).

What music can I use under my OneMusic licence?

A OneMusic licence covers the use of APRA AMCOS musical works and sound recordings and PPCA sound recordings and music videos according to the type of cover you require. While the repertoire of OneMusic is vast and extensive, the use of some music does not require our licence:

  • Music not represented by OneMusic, commonly called royalty free (we note that royalty free music when compared to the OneMusic repertoire is a mere fraction of size and of course will not include the popular music that your customers, clients or patrons know and love).
  • Music in the public domain – that is the music is out of copyright protections because the composers died AND the recording was first released more than 70 years ago.

Some other music sources may only require partial cover, and for most of our rates, we offer a partial reduction deduction. This may occur when ALL:

  • the sound recordings you use are unprotected sound recordings
  • the music you use is in the public domain for all composers or all sound recordings

although we note that in our experience these scenarios are rare, and

  • all music you play comes through a radio or television set playing traditional terrestrial channels
  • all the recordings are re-records of songs by a company not a member of PPCA
  • all the music is source licensed for one of APRA AMCOS’ or PPCA’s rights

OneMusic licences also have certain restrictions on them including for example, limited use under the Website cover, and not including the performance of musicals, operettas and ballets (also known as Grand Right works). To use this type of music, you need to get permission DIRECT from the rights holder and we can assist in researching who you need to liaise with.

If you believe you may not require a licence from OneMusic or are entitled to a partial rights deduction please contact us via hello@onemusic.com.au so we can confirm.

What sound recordings are covered by PPCA?

PPCA’s repertoire is made up of all of the sound recordings and/or music videos owned or controlled in Australia by its licensors and the labels they control. As at July 2019 the number of labels registered with PPCA exceeds 55,000. The repertoire expands to cover new sound recordings as they are released by PPCA’s licensors. Given the sheer volume of sound recordings controlled by its licensors it is impractical to publish a list of tracks included in the repertoire. However a list of PPCA’s licensors and the labels they control are available here http://www.ppca.com.au/labels/list-of-current-licensors/. The licensors and labels are made up of thousands of Australian recording artists and labels, both local and international, majors and independents. These licensors have granted PPCA a non-exclusive right to license businesses to play protected sound recordings and music videos.  

The Copyright Act protects certain sound recordings for public performance. PPCA’s public performance licence covers all ‘protected recordings’ within its repertoire. Some recordings released in Australia (and within PPCA’s repertoire) are not protected and a licence is not required to publicly perform those sound recordings. Working out whether or not a recording is protected may require the application of complex provisions of the Copyright Act to determine and require an understanding of:

1. the country where the recording was made;
2. the nationality and residence of everyone performing on the recording (including all session musicians);
3. the country where the recording was first released;
4. the date of the first release; and
5. the age of the recording.

A list of ‘protected countries’ can be found here http://www.ppca.com.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/Schedule%203%20Countries[2].pdf. The United States is not a ‘protected country’. However recordings made in the United States (or by US citizens) can still be considered ‘protected’ under the Copyright Act if one of the criteria above is met.  Eg: a track recorded by an Australian or British artist in the United States for release in Australia and elsewhere is likely to be protected and a public performance licence required.

As a general statement, recordings made in territories such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Canada are usually protected and a licence is required to play these recordings in public. All music videos are protected recordings and all sound recordings used as telephone on hold music are protected.

If you have any questions regarding the scope of PPCA repertoire, please contact PPCA  http://www.ppca.com.au/Contact/

Where do my OneMusic licence fees go?

We care about ensuring that the licence fees you pay are distributed (paid out) to the rights holders in the most accurate and cost effective way possible.

OneMusic distributes the fees it collects to APRA AMCOS and PPCA, the bodies behind the licensing initiative. Both entities are the same in that, after the deduction of administration and operational costs, all fees collected are distributed to members or licensors.

Although separate companies, in the financial year 2018/2019 APRA AMCOS’ and PPCA’s costs to revenue ratio was similar at approximately 14%. This means that around 86 cents in the dollar earned in licence fees collected by APRA AMCOS and PPCA is being paid to each organisation’s rights holders. Those costs compare very favourably to organisations providing the same service overseas. 

Under OneMusic APRA AMCOS and PPCA maintain their own distribution practices and policies and are available online. 

Both APRA AMCOS and PPCA are always seeking to achieve a delicate balance in their distribution practices - a balance between accuracy on the one hand and minimising the administration that would be required in track by track music use reports that businesses would have to submit.

The following represent the main sources of music data the two organisations use to make their distributions to music creators:

  • Individual commercial radio and television stations reporting the music they broadcast;
  • Digital download services and record labels reporting the tracks or CDs they sell and their sales volumes;
  • Services using Music Recognition Technology like digital fingerprinting and audio-recognition to match performances/broadcasts to their databases;
  • Data from music providers who supply programmed curated music for specific industries, such as fitness;
  • Background music suppliers who provide us with music reports from their clients’ playlists; and
  • Set lists of musical works performed by artists and musicians at live/dance events and festivals supplied to APRA by event promoters.

Why don’t you distribute (pay) a royalty amount for EVERY song I’m playing in my business?

OneMusic obtains performance information where it is reasonable to do so. It would be unreasonable for us to require a small business like a fitness centre to report every song they play. Where we don’t ask for music use information, we distribute licence fees to proxy (representative) sources such as radio airplay, personal digital music services, television broadcast logs, ARIA chart data and from music recognition technology. 

My business is facing hardship, is there fee relief available?

If your business has been affected by a disaster such as fire, flood, storm or drought, or you are facing financial hardship, please contact our Customer Support team on 1300 162 162 or email hello@onemusic.com.au to discuss options to put your account on hold, pending an update of the situation.

What if a business is using music illegally? Who can I advise?

All businesses that use our music should be licensed. If you believe that a business is using music illegally, please let us know and we will follow it up. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call 1300 162 162 and advise details without your caller ID being recorded.

I have paid for the music so why do I need a OneMusic licence?

Buying music, subscribing to music services, or turning on a radio or TV does not provide the rights to use this music in a commercial or public setting. You have paid for the ‘hardware,’ not the performance of what is on/in that hardware to the public.

A public performance is deemed to be a performance outside the private or domestic domain (i.e. home, private car, hotel room or hospital room). Playing music on the beach is categorised as a private eventfor instance, but a centenary parade in a regional town is a public event under our definition. A 21st birthday held at a nightclub or a hall, and where the party goers dance to the music played by DJs is also a public event. 

Music is sold for private/domestic use, so any use of this music by a business or organisation is a public performance that requires licensing. The same rule applies whether you have purchased a physical CD, bought a digital download or stream music through a subscription service.

Do I need a OneMusic licence if I only play music from overseas?

We love it when our Australian songs are performed at the Wembley stadium in London, or in the music halls of Nashville; in fact APRA AMCOS and PPCA, the bodies behind OneMusic, are part of initiatives to boost the export of Australian music to the world and improve our balance of trade.

You will be glad to know that you can still obtain a licence from OneMusic if you only play overseas music because OneMusic represents a worldwide catalogue of music on behalf of APRA AMCOS and PPCA via their membership or rights input agreements and their agreements with collecting societies worldwide.

For example, The MusicLicence (an operation similar to OneMusic Australia) administers Courtney Barnett’s rights in the UK, which means that royalties for performances of her music in that territory are appropriately licensed and paid back to the relevant rights holders, just as OneMusic administers Ed Sheeran’s rights in Australia for distribution to his relevant rights holders.

I only play free-to-air TV or radio. Do I need a licence from OneMusic?

Yes. Music on free-to-air TV or radio played in your business is a public performance of that music and protected under the Copyright Act. This needs permission from the copyright owners of the music and a OneMusic licence provides this permission. The performance of sound recordings from traditional radio or TV broadcasts is not subject to copyright protection** and accordingly we either have separate rates or there are deductions available to our standard rates in many cases if that is the only music source you use at your business.

The separate broadcast licences held by radio and TV stations cover their broadcast of that music, but not your public performance of the music they broadcast.

** This doesn’t apply if for example you’re playing a traditional station like Triple J from an online source like Tune-in, Sonos or one of the ABC’s own apps.

What is copying? Why do I have a copying fee when I have a digital music service?

According to their Terms of Use, the digital music services that most of us use at home, may only be used for personal and domestic purposes.

You can verify this by reading Spotify's Terms and Conditions of Use 'Your rights to use the Spotify Service' under clause 3. Other services have their own Terms and Conditions you can research. 

However, whatever the source of the music used at your organisation, if you use OneMusic Australia’s music then you’ll still need a licence from OneMusic to play it in your business.

In addition, if you copy OneMusic Australia’s music, for instance from one CD to another, or you stream it from a personal digital music service, then you’ll also need coverage called “Digital Copy/Delivery”.

You should be aware that a OneMusic Australia licence, even when it includes Digital Copy/Delivery only gives you permission to use our music in your business (or event); it does not override the Terms of Use for the personal digital music service you are using, nor does it give you permission to use that particular digital music service for a commercial purpose – that permission can only come from the owners of that digital music service.

Even with our licence, the use of digital music streaming services by you in your business may be in breach of the terms and conditions of your end user agreement with that service. You should check with your service provider.

You may be better to consider a commercially licensed digital music service. We have compiled a list of these music services in the Background Music Guide.

Why is it cheaper to get a licence in other jurisdictions like NZ?

Rates for the use of music have developed independently across multiple jurisdictions – there is no standard rate for music played in a hotel, or music on hold in the UK, USA or Australia. Every market has different rates which should come as no surprise to you. Some Australian rates are above rates overseas (e.g. nightclub dance use), but other rates are below (e.g. live music performances). The nightclub rate – unlike, so far as we are aware, has occurred anywhere else – was considered and determined by the Australian Copyright Tribunal on an independent basis after hearing evidence and arguments from both copyright owners and music users.

I’ve been told that if I only use FoxSports I do not need a OneMusic licence, is that right?

No. There are music licences in place with FoxSports and other similar service providers, but they only cover the service’s use of music not their customers’ use. Your business’ public performance of that music is an additional use that requires a separate licence from OneMusic.

Is OneMusic a government body?

No. OneMusic is a joint initiative of APRA AMCOS and PPCA who collects royalties on behalf of those who create the music.

Where can I find a list of National Event Promoters?

The list is available here and identifies those promoters who have Promoted Music Event blanket licences and account directly to OneMusic for all shows in their tours.

How much do music licences cost?

Music licence fees from OneMusic Australia start at under $100 a year. Music licence fees are user-pays and are different for each industry, so a shop will pay a licence fee on its floor space and a cafe will pay a music licence fee on the number of people it can seat. Fees also differ on the music device you use.

How much do retail and service business music licences cost?

Music licence fees for retail and service business start at under $100 a year for a business that measures 50 square metres or less that is just playing the radio or TV. Licence fees are user-pays so if this business owner instead chose to stream their music which requires more music rights, they would pay over $500 a year.

Why do I need to pay more to OneMusic to use a Personal Digital Music Service?

According to their Terms of Use, the digital music services that most of us use at home, may only be used for personal and domestic purposes.

You can verify this by reading Spotify's Terms and Conditions of Use 'Your rights to use the Spotify Service' under clause 3. Other services have their own Terms and Conditions you can research. 

However, whatever the source of the music used at your organisation, if you use OneMusic Australia’s music then you’ll still need a licence from OneMusic to play it in your business.

In addition, if you copy OneMusic Australia’s music, for instance from one CD to another, or you stream it from a personal digital music service, then you’ll also need coverage called “Digital Copy/Delivery”.

You should be aware that a OneMusic Australia licence, even when it includes Digital Copy/Delivery only gives you permission to use our music in your business (or event); it does not override the Terms of Use for the personal digital music service you are using, nor does it give you permission to use that particular digital music service for a commercial purpose – that permission can only come from the owners of that digital music service.

Even with our licence, the use of digital music streaming services by you in your business may be in breach of the terms and conditions of your end user agreement with that service. You should check with your service provider.

You may be better to consider a commercially licensed digital music service. We have compiled a list of these music services in the Background Music Guide.