Cinema

Music is integral to films - it has the power to illuminate, elevate and support real and imagined worlds, narratives, images and performances. Films would simply not be the same without the emotional backdrop of music.

When music is composed or selected for films, the creators of that music retain certain rights over how their music is used. Accordingly, cinemas need to seek permission from music creators to broadcast or publicly perform their music. In New Zealand, this is done through the APRA (who represent songwriters, composers and music publishers), and Recorded Music NZ (who represent recording artists and record labels), who issue licences to cinemas that give them the permission they need to use music. The APRA Cinema licence grants cinemas the permission to use musical works, and the Recorded Music NZ Cinema licence grants cinemas permission to use sound recordings.

As well as giving cinemas the permission they need to publicly perform music embedded in films, the APRA and Recorded Music Cinema licences also grants cinemas permission to play music in their foyer area, or in a cinema before the movie begins – creating a welcoming and relaxed environment for patrons.

Licensing for the cinema industry is operated by APRA and Recorded Music NZ Music Licensing on an individual basis.

To apply for licences for you cinema, visit the APRA and Recorded Music websites: