It was another record-busting year for APRA AMCOS with group revenue surging past $400 million for the first time, as royalties from digital, broadcast, international and, of course, streaming platforms reached all-time highs.

For its 2017-18 financial year, the rights management society reports overall revenue of $420.2 million, up 8.7 percent, a sum in line with the update APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston provided to guests at a breakfast last month at Bigsound. What’s wasn’t revealed that morning was the $362.8 million sum distributed to its songwriters, publishers and affiliated societies, representing an 8.2 percent climb from the previous year.

The full-year results are published today in the society’s “Year In Review.” The across-the-board gains are, not surprisingly, attributed to the continued strong growth in consumer demand for digitally-delivered works.

In other highlights, digital revenue (including audio, video-on-demand, websites and user generated content) blew up by nearly 22 percent to $134.5, with audio streaming ($81.9 million, up nearly 32 percent), taking the lion’s share.

amy shark live
Amy Shark’s LP Love Monster hit #1 in July 2018

Also for the first time, income from digital outlets have eclipsed those of radio and TV broadcasts combined, which were up 5.8 per cent year-on-year to $132.6 million.

The annual report also confirmed strong lifts in royalties earned overseas, a sector now worth $43.7 million.
“While these results are strong, there is a real need to consider the longer term who sustainability of the Australian music industry. This will be achieved through proactive government and industry policy and investment that prioritises a fair copyright framework, music in education, a strong live music touring circuit, Australian music content, and music export,” said Ormston, who succeeded APRA AMCOS’ long-serving CEO Brett Cottle in June.

Ormston also confirmed the organisation had lodged its submission to the federal government’s inquiry into the music industry. “Critical to the health of our sector is a direct conversation and relationship with Federal and State governments,” Ormston notes in his opening statement. “Our message is simple, the contemporary music industry is one of Australia’s most dynamic and innovative industries with barely realised export potential. We need bipartisan and cross-portfolio support and investment in realising the potential of the Australian music industry based on a strong vision to become a globally recognised music nation powerhouse.”

During the period, operating expenses across the group came to $57.1 million, up 13.1 percent from the previous year, for an expense-to-revenue ratio of 13.6 percent.

Download the 23-page document here.