Live Performance Royalties

Ever wondered how the licence fees for live performances find their way back to songwriters?

When live performers play in public, songwriters need to give permission for their songs to be used. With performers playing a mix of original and covers, songs written by a number of different people, and rights often controlled by music publishers, gaining permission directly from all of the parties for a simple live performance could be very complicated.

Thankfully OneMusic exists to make it simple to get permission for businesses to host live performances, whether the performance is free or ticketed. A OneMusic licence grants businesses the permission they need to play or perform virtually all music from anywhere in the world.

Most businesses that have a OneMusic licence have a ‘Background Music’ licence, giving them the permission they need to play background music. Businesses that host live performances – often hospitality businesses – will most often hold a background music licence, as well as a ‘Featured Music’ licence for live music. A Live Featured Music licence is charged at a day rate that ranges between $13.59 and $21 per day that they host live music, depending on the size of the business. This simple per-day rate allows businesses to host live performances, provided the ticket price is less than $35.

Sounds simple, so how do you know who to pay?

OneMusic is the face of music rights organisations APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ. Each year APRA AMCOS members complete performance reports, listing all of the venues they have played, and what songs they performed. All of the licence fees collected for live performances are then pooled, and distributed using the information received from members.

In the year 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019, licence fees totaling $776,449 was paid to 1,974 members for performing their music.

Royalties paid to songwriters for live performances is an important revenue stream for live performers, helping them invest in their careers and stay on the road.

Visit our hospitality page for more information about our Featured Music licence for live music, DJs and karaoke.