APRA AMCOS Calls on Australian Gov’t For Live Music Venue Tax Offset

APRA AMCOS Calls on Australian Gov’t For Live Music Venue Tax Offset

Music

SYDNEY, Australia — After posting another year of growth, and record revenue and distributions, APRA AMCOS is doubling-down on its call for a tax-offset to kick-start live music.

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The PRO last month posted “very strong” financials for the full-year 2023, with record gross revenue of A$690.5 million ($453 million), up 12% from the 2022 result, and net distributable revenue paid to songwriter and publisher members, affiliates and rightsholders up 11.4% year-on-year to A$595.2 million ($390 million), also a new benchmark — gains that are “indicative of a post-pandemic recovery.”

Those healthy results came with a gut-punch.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the organization found that 1,300-plus live music venues and stages across Australia were lost, or roughly one-third fewer licensed premises where artists can perform medium to smaller gigs.

At the presentation of those annual results at the APRA AMCOS HQ in Sydney, the organization’s CEO Dean Ormston urged the federal government to commit to a live music venue tax offset to act “as a catalyst in jump-starting live music nationally.”

This week, Ormston and APRA AMCOS reiterated those calls.

“For the current wave and the next generation of music creators to develop their skills and become export-ready, we need to provide them with the resources at home and build a sustainable live music ecosystem,” says Ormston.

A live music venue tax offset, he continued, would revitalize the country’s network of small live music venues.

Meanwhile, the music rights management body has confirmed the make-up of its board, following held two annual general meetings held Tuesday (No. 21) in Sydney.

On the APRA board, writers Mark Callaghan and Jonathan Zwartz and publishers Jaime Gough (Concord Music Publishing ANZ) and Matthew Capper (Warner Chappell Music Australia) retained their positions. Jenny Morris and Damian Trotter (Sony Music Publishing) were named as chair and deputy chair of the APRA board, respectively.

On the AMCOS board, directors Trotter and Heath Johns (BMG) retained their positions. Karen Hamilton (120 Publishing) is a new director appointment to the AMCOS board, while Philip Burn, chairman and CEO of Hal Leonard Australia, stepped down following ten years as a director, and was thanked for his service and expertise.

APRA and AMCOS board directors are elected by their respective memberships through a secure ballot. The process and results of the elections are audited and verified by APRA AMCOS’ independent auditors, KPMG.

Those elections were held in light of the society’s “Year In Review,” which reported a “dramatic” 400% year-on-year gain in license fees for concerts and festivals to A$31.9 million ($20.9 million), an all-time high, while international income from affiliate societies spiked 17.7% to A$70 million ($45 million), a new record.

Despite inflation and the rising cost of living, Aussie and Kiwi music fans flocked to shows. Notable tours included internationals Ed Sheeran, Elton John and Harry Styles, notes APRA AMCOS, plus Grammy-winning Sydney-EDM act RÜFÜS DU SOL, Crowded House, award-winning NZ acts L.A.B., SIX60 and more.

APRA AMCOS represents over 119,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. Click here for its “Year In Review.”

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