Distribution at a glance


We take paying the RIGHT copyright owner their royalties very seriously. Our 100,000 members and 170 international affiliates (representing millions more) hold us to that every day.

We provide businesses legal permission to use our members’ songs and compositions in their day-to-day operations. This permission is granted in the form of a licence, paid annually.

We deduct our operating costs from the gross licence fees collected, and these costs range between 12% and 15% annually, amongst the lowest for collecting societies internationally. Our financial statements are audited each year by KPMG and available on our website.


There are two ways public performance licence fees are paid out to a songwriter.

  1. Based on reports detailing the music actually played in your business – for example, live artist playlists, background music supplier reports, music recognition technology in nightclubs. 
  2. Based on data that approximates the music played in your business – for example reports from commercial and community radio and TV stations, music streaming services, music charts and music video channels.

We are always looking for the best sources of data to distribute licence fees and invest in world’s best practice data matching systems to ensure the right songwriter is paid. This approach means we are able to distribute licence fees in an efficient and cost effective way and without requiring businesses to report every song played. 


Each year we allocate 1.75% of APRA’s distributable revenue to fund hundreds of initiatives across the music industry in Australia and New Zealand. These include professional development workshops and education programs in schools, songwriting camps for emerging and established songwriters and Sounds Australia - a service that works to raise the profile of Australian music in international markets.

View our full distribution rules and practices here.

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Music Customer - 1300 852 388
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