Brett Cottle has another prized piece of silverware for his trophy cabinet.
At a recent ceremony in Sydney hosted by the AMPAL board of directors, the former APRA AMCOS CEO was presented with the AMPAL Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Publishing.
The honour recognises the “immense contribution” made by Cottle to the Australian and New Zealand music publishing sector, and his work on behalf of songwriters and composers over many years.
Cottle began his career with the rights society as its first in-house counsel in the late 1970s and served as CEO of APRA from 1990 until June, when he handed over the reins to Dean Ormston. During Cottle’s time at the top, royalty collections and distributions increased seven-fold and APRA AMCOS is now recognized as one of the leading copyright collecting societies, reflected in the fact that Cottle is the only Australian to have been elected chair of the International Confederation of Authors’ Societies (CISAC), a role in which he served for two consecutive terms.
In 2012, the Sydney-based exec was named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for “services to the performing arts.” Also, he is a past director of both the Australian Copyright Council and the Copyright Law Review Committee and has served as chairman of the board of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Limited.
Cottle is just the second recipient of the AMPAL award, following the presentation in 2016 to founding AMPAL member Alberts, now part of BMG. On that occasion, the award was received by David Albert and former CEO Fifa Riccobono.
AMPAL chair Matthew Capper (managing director of Warner/Chappell Music Australia) and the trade body’s general manager Matthew O’Sullivan paid tribute to Cottle. “The music publishing industry was incredibly fortunate to have such a talented and fair-minded leader at APRA AMCOS for so many years,” noted Capper. During the ceremony late last month, O’Sullivan commented, “Brett has left an indelible mark on the Australasian music industry, and his vision and leadership of APRA AMCOS is respected internationally. AMPAL is extremely grateful for Brett’s dedication and tremendous work on behalf of Australian and New Zealand music publishers, and their songwriter and composer partners”.
APRA was launched in 1926 and now counts over 90,000 members, while AMCOS was established in 1979 and numbers upwards of 16,000 members. Cottle combined both entities in 1997 to deliver a “one-stop service” for music creators and music customers. Last month, Ormston told guests at a breakfast gathering at Bigsound that the society’s soon-be-published financial results will reveal full-year group revenue of some $420 million, about 8.7% up on last year.
AMPAL, the Australasian Music Publishers Assn, was formed in 1956 and today boasts more than 50 music publisher members, collectively representing north of 90% of the economic value of the music publishing sector.