Australian Music Publishers Report

The Australasian Music Publishers' Association Limited (AMPAL) is the industry association for Australian and New Zealand music publishers and works on behalf of its members and their songwriter and composer partners to promote the importance and value of music and music publishing in Australia and New Zealand – both culturally and economically.  Formed in 1956, by a handful of publishers, we’re now a trade association with over 60 publisher members representing over 90% of the economic value of the Australian and New Zealand publishing sector.

Each year, AMPAL conducts a survey of our music publisher members to report on the revenue of the local music publishing industry in order for us, as an industry to gauge our growth and learn from trends that we discover from the results. AMPAL members provide confidential information to AMPAL's auditors who aggregate the data.  The 2016 survey of AMPAL members valued the Australian and New Zealand music publishing industry at just over AUD$235 million for the year (see https://www.ampal.com.au/news-and-events/2017/7/30/australian-and-new-zealand-music-publishing-industry-valued-at-more-than-aud235-million). The survey includes royalty data from the industry collective management society APRA AMCOS for performing and mechanical rights, but only in relation to royalties flowing through to music publishing companies and not including money paid directly to songwriters and composers. This result is up from around $215 million in 2015, and $200 million in 2014. 

The figures reveal some important trends.  The big shift in the last couple of years has been the growth in digital music revenue (following the dramatic and continuing fall in the sale of physical products).  While sales of digital downloads have been falling, streaming music is growing strongly and now forms an increasingly important source of income for songwriters and music publishers.  The very rapid growth of these streaming services and the fact that they did not exist five years ago evidences the highly innovative nature of music publishers and the Australian music industry.  We are also seeing continued growth in performing income from APRA, and increased foreign income, reflecting the immense talents of Australian songwriters and composers and their successes around the world.  Overall, the figures underline the crucial importance of music publishers in the Australian and New Zealand music industry, and the tremendous work of the songwriters and composers that music publishers have the privilege of working with.  As songwriters and music publishers and the broader music industry finally start to see a return from streaming music services, and at a time when Australia and New Zealand are grappling with potential changes to copyright law, it is important to recognise the critical contribution that music publishers make to the creation of great Australian and New Zealand music – the soundtracks to all of our lives.  Songwriters, composers and music publishers depend on the current certainty of our robust, flexible and balanced copyright laws in order to encourage their innovation, and to be fairly rewarded for their creative efforts in continuing to advance the cultural heritage of Australia and New Zealand.

AMPAL supports the #FreeIsNotFair campaign. General Manager Matthew O'Sullivan, remarks that, "At a time when Australia and New Zealand are grappling with potential changes to copyright law, it is essential to recognise the critical importance of the creative industries - economically and culturally.  Songwriters, composers and music publishers depend on the current certainty of our robust, flexible and balanced copyright laws in order to encourage their innovation, and to be fairly rewarded for their creative efforts in continuing to advance the cultural heritage of Australia and New Zealand - the soundtrack to all of our lives."

Author

Matthew O’Sullivan

DATE PUBLISHED: 22 March 2018

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