ARA launches music licence scheme

vinyl, musicThe Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has launched a joint music licence scheme with the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA).

APRA and AMCOS together are responsible for the non profit collection and distribution of songwriting royalties to around 87,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, and around 3 million copyright owners worldwide.

PPCA is a non profit organisation that provides licences to Australian businesses to play recorded music in public.

The net fees are distributed to record labels and registered Australian artists who create the recordings. In 2014 PPCA distributed almost $33 million to its registered artists and record labels.

The new joint music licence scheme will make it easier for retailers to access and reap the benefits of using music.

Many retailers previously needed to take out a range of individual licences with APRA AMCOS, and PPCA depending on how they used music in their store. The new partnership with the ARA means less paperwork, a consolidated cost for busy retail owners, and makes compliance with copyright law much easier.

Russell Zmmerman, ARA executive director, said this is an opportunity for ARA members to see substantial savings in their music licence fees.

“Music is a big part of our retail experience. Research shows that music, especially recordings by well known artists, is an important factor in creating the ideal instore atmosphere for the consumer, encourages longer browsing time, and can positively influence the behaviour of customers.

“The ARA Music Licence Scheme, which comes into effect from July 1, will see a flat annual fee of $550 per store for retail premises under 500sqm in size. This will allow retailers to use a range of background music devices including radio, television, CDs, smartphones, and streaming devices (depending on the streaming provider’s terms), providing access to millions of songs and recordings within the repertoire of APRA AMCOS, and PPCA.

“With the ARA representing over 5000 national and independent retail members across Australia, a simple turnkey solution through their existing membership of the ARA will benefit thousands of small businesses countrywide,” Zimmerman said.

APRA AMCOS director of public performance licensing, Jennifer Gome, said: “Simplifying music licences is something our music customers have listed as a high priority. This new licence will save time and resources for businesses.”

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