The Australasian Performing Right Association, or APRA for short, is a copyright collective representing and protecting the rights of Australian and New Zealand songwriters, composers and producers. They ensure that artists are paid for their content and provides an easy access for businesses looking to play music in their establishment for whatever reason legally and in compliance with Australian copyright law.

If you are interested in playing music in your business, its best to talk to a business lawyer to discuss your options in regards to licensing.

What is APRA?

APRA currently has over 85 000 members who are either music publishers, composers or songwriters, and provides licences to organisations to be able to use their member’s music to ensure royalties are paid to the content creators. APRA provides licences to businesses that allow them to play any commercially released music from anywhere in the world without having to contact the copyright owners directly.

They ensure that the music industry is sustained through the payment of royalties and allow businesses to play music without infringing the rights of the creator.

How can this benefit my business?

Depending on what type of business you are, a licence through APRA confers many benefits. Regardless of your business type and what licence you purchase, you will obtain the right to play or perform any music that has been commercially released. Having live performances in any business type will greatly support the Australian economy as it provides $1.21 billion per annum. Live music can be quite beneficial to you and your business for reasons such as:

  • Increasing traffic to your business to watch live acts; and
  • Corporate social responsibility by providing support to local acts within your community.

Having the right to incorporate music into your business is ideal for a multitude of reasons that are listed below.

Restaurants and Cafés

Having music playing in your establishment, whether it be live or pre-recorded background music, has many benefits for you as a business. These include:

  • Creating a more inviting and pleasing atmosphere for your patrons;
  • Helps shape an identity for your business and reinforces your brand; and
  • Raises staff morale and increases productivity.

If you are looking to play music at your café or restaurant, it is important to know what license you need so you don’t risk incurring liability for breach of copyright.

Pubs, Clubs and Bars

Music is normally an integral part of any bar, club or pub. This is because:

  • It encourages patrons to stay longer, pay more and visit more often;
  • Relieves awkward silences and tension for your patrons;
  • Creates an atmosphere for your patrons;
  • Attracts certain demographics dependent on what genres you play if you market yourself towards them; and
  • Helps create and shape your identity and brand.

If you are seeking further clarification about music licences or legal advice about your business, it is advised to consult with a business lawyer.

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Logan Tennyson

Logan is a Paralegal working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and media law, his research explores how the law is adapting to emerging technologies and how this affects consumers and businesses alike.