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Licensing Body Responds After Venues Threaten To Boycott Aussie Music

Written by Emmy Mack on November 10, 2017

Music licensing super-body OneMusic has rubbished claims made by a group of Gold Coast nightclubs that a new royalty fee system would cripple business.

Earlier this week, a bunch of popular dance spots on the Surfers Paradise Glitter Strip threatened to totally boycott Aussie music from their playlists if the new pricing model was brought in, fearing it would “wipe out a lot of venues”.

Basically, OneMusic — which combines the collective clout of the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) and Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) — has proposed a plan to tax nightclubs for playing recorded music based on the PPCA’s model, which charges each venue a fixed per-person fee based on its total capacity, and not the number of punters who actually walk through the door on any given night.

Surfers Paradise Licensed Venues Association president Tim Martin told News Corp the changes could see music royalties skyrocket by a staggering $150,000 per year for a 500-cap venue, and would force a lot of clubs to nix trading on weeknights.

But in a new statement, OneMusic has said those claims are “grossly incorrect”.

“We have run the numbers on a range of real-life dance venue scenarios,” says Richard Mallett, APRA AMCOS’ Head of Revenue and Licensing. “The result was an average saving of 3.8 per cent for venues currently licensed under both APRA AMCOS’ and PPCA’s current schemes.

“The example given was a dance venue with a capacity of 500 people trading six days a week, every week of the year.

“Even if such a venue existed in Australia, under the current two licences, and based on an 85 per cent attendance rate, they would be currently paying a total of $320,813. Under OneMusic Australia’s initial proposal, this venue would see a reduction of $24,413, to $296,400.”

OneMusic is inviting venues that “play recorded music for the purpose of dancing” to provide feedback on its new licence proposal by 27th November, which you can check out here.

Meanwhile, the Surfers Paradise Licensed Venues Association has called a crisis meeting of Glitter Strip venue bosses for 14th November to discuss their options.

As well as the Aussie music boycott, joint court action by all the affected clubs is also reportedly on the cards.

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