Australia’s two big music licensors – APRA AMCOS & PPCA – have released a new set of fee structures ahead of the planned launch of a combined platform in 2019, called OneMusic Australia. It is supposed to bring an end to years of complaints about the complexity of the system.

Currently, you need two licenses to play music in a business in Australia; one with APRA AMCOS (representing the songwriters, composers and publishers) and one with PPCA (representing the sound recording artists and record labels).

However, from July 2019, OneMusic will operate as a ‘one-stop shop’ for any business using music as part of their day to day operations. It is supposed be simpler and easier for businesses to be compliant with music licensing requirements but there are still concerns in some sectors, especially with regards to possible increased fees.

OneMusic has already released recommended music licensing schemes for several business sectors, including Dining Establishments (restaurants, cafes and takeaway shops), Retailers and Fitness and Wellbeing Centres.

Other sectors including Hotels, Casinos and Dedicated Music Venues; Function and Conference Centres and Clubs are still in the consultation process. The OneMusic website has a breakdown of the new license segments and consultation recommendations along with an online calculator. In total there are 16 different sectors to redefine.

More than 100,000 license holders need to be moved over to new agreements, which will require signing additional paperwork, but APRA has been working with the PPCA in recent months to align license renewal dates, in the hope it can all be done at once.

An online system is also being built so new licenses can be paid for through an e-commerce portal.

For the time being, it is business as usual, but you should look at the proposals, review your current fees and see what changes might affect your business. We also recommend Clubs and Pubs talk to their various associations like ClubsNSW or AHA.