Community Engagement
Our commitment to developing opportunities for our community of music creators and customers is stronger than ever.  We've nurtured relationships with numerous sectors of the music industry, providing education and inspiration to our members, while consulting with various industry associations to ensure our customers understand the value of music and the associated cost of doing business.

Supporting Music Creators

This year we continued our regular suite of events to educate, inform and inspire, hosting 159 that were attended by more than 7,400 APRA AMCOS members. Our ‘Connecting Members’ meetings and educational workshops provided the opportunity for members to meet and network with fellow songwriters and staff in their local communities, as well as learn about APRA AMCOS and how to make the most of their membership. Our ‘Songwriter Speaks’ event series continued to be a favourite among members this year, with well-established songwriters sharing the secrets behind their creative process and the stories behind their songs.

APRA AMCOS Public Performance Licensing (PPL) has undertaken breakthrough negotiations with national organisations that represent 45,000 businesses across the country. A new licence scheme for restaurants and cafes was launched in November 2014, a new licence scheme for the fitness industry was announced in March 2015 and negotiations between APRA AMCOS and the AHA are continuing. The PPL team worked with these powerful interest groups to deliver improved licensing compliance by their members and therefore better licensing revenue for APRA AMCOS members.

“The negotiations between APRA AMCOS and the Australian Hotels Association has been taking place over the last 12 months and is continuing well. It’s a partnership of two very large interest groups - hotels on one side and songwriters on the other. We’ve been working well to recognise the contributions of each to create a viable hotels business with a respectful understanding of each other’s roles.”


Stephen Ferguson, National Chief Executive Officer, Australian Hotels Association (AHA).

“It was a pleasure to work with APRA AMCOS this year and to support our 8,100 member outlets to secure the right licenses for the public performance of music. We are particularly pleased to promote live music in smaller venues to enrich the product offering in our industry.”


John Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).

“We collaborated with APRA AMCOS in an open process that has allowed us to develop fair licence terms on behalf of our members. We had identified a need across our member base to be able to provide optimum background music solutions without having to be concerned about counting the numbers of music devices and television sets. The new tariff does just that. It also sees new technologies in the fitness industry, such as virtual fitness classes, covered under the one licence agreement.”


Lauretta Stace, Chief Executive Officer, Fitness Australia.

In New Zealand, after the implementation of the new joint OneMusic licence schemes, a major relicensing project (relicensing around 12,000 premises) has been completed. Constructive, meaningful partnerships with industry organisations proved vital in this major undertaking.

“The new OneMusic Licence schemes are a vast improvement. We support anything that means compliance issues don’t get in the way of business. The new OneMusic licence means our members can get a music licence quickly and easily and we’re very happy APRA and PPNZ have heard us on this issue.”


Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive of The Restaurant Association

“OneMusic means fewer businesses will be accidentally operating outside of the law. Not everyone has known they needed two music licences and indeed sometimes it seemed over the top to be charged twice to play music. In our discussions with OneMusic we’ve had a look at how much our members will be paying now based on the OneMusic calculations and it seems reasonable”


John Albertson, CEO of the New Zealand Retailers Association

New Zealand Children’s Music Awards & MusicBox

APRA AMCOS NZ launched the Children’s Music Awards in 2008 to highlight and support the New Zealand songwriters that write for our nation’s children. With the ongoing support of New Zealand’s most popular children’s TV show What Now, the awards have gone from strength to strength. Alongside the Awards, we have campaigned other organisations to support this genre, seeing the return of the Recorded Music NZ ‘Tui’ for Best Children’s Album in 2013, an award that had not be given out since 2003. In 2015, Government agency NZ On Air came on board to provide the winner of the APRA Best Children’s Song Award a special grant of $10,000.

 

To further encourage the genre, APRA AMCOS NZ have produced MusicBox since 2013. MusicBox is a promotional album created annually, celebrating the top songs entering into the Awards. Available as a free download for a limited time, and produced as a CD for the nation’s libraries and play centres.

Songwriter Speaks

 

In February 2015, Adelaide members were treated to an exceptional Songwriter Speaks with one of Australia’s most iconic songwriters - Archie Roach. The attendance rate was outstanding and more than half the audience were women. One member said in their feedback survey:

 
“I actually got really emotional hearing some of Archie's story and songs,”
“I wasn't expecting to be so overwhelmed…I feel very privileged to have been able to be there!”

Grants to grow the music industry

Each year the APRA board sets aside 1.75% of distributable revenue to invest in projects and organisations that support our members and their music careers. Over the past year, we invested $979,825 in grants to support more than 190 programs. The most successful category was Skill Development closely followed by Education, reflecting APRA AMCOS’ commitment to engaging strongly in this area.


A first-time grant recipient this year was the Ensemble Offspring that received funding to support their inaugural Hatched Academy. The program nurtures new talent in contemporary classical music by providing mentoring sessions and workshops for up-and-coming composers, providing them with the skills and creative inspiration to write new music.

ATSI Music Office

APRA AMCOS is committed to listening and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) music creators. This year, our ATSI Music Office implemented professional development opportunities, education programs, advocacy and partnerships with the wider music industry that saw ATSI APRA AMCOS membership grow by 8.7%.


The 30th anniversary of the Barunga Festival was a standout event on the ATSI cultural calendar this year.

This festival is part of the SongCycles Inbound Program which immerses mainstream music industry representatives into the diversity of ATSI culture and provides insight into the challenges of these communities. Maggie Collins, Adrian Basso and Jonathan Holloway experienced the memorable event this year.


“The chance to see a wide range of music performed on traditional land in a rural community was a true honour… it’s a “festival” in the true community context - of music, sport, food, culture, medicine and creative pursuits,”
Jonathan Holloway, Director of the Melbourne International Festival

Made By Music

Charity Support

We have made significant charitable donations to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and Support Act Limited as well as the New Zealand Music Foundation. We are proud to have a longstanding relationship with these music-focused charities that use music to enrich the lives of Australians and New Zealanders in need. A key achievement this year came from our Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition that raised $170,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. We were also proud to support ‘Bandwagon’ last year, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in Support Act’s history. APRA AMCOS, as well as many of our members, Ambassadors and staff, ‘got on the bandwagon’ and helped Support Act raise $140,000.