An Artists’s Guide to Registering with PPCA
With live gigs on hold and music venues currently closed for business, it’s more important than ever artists access the other income streams available to them. Most artists and music industry folk are familiar with the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA), but may not realise they may be entitled to royalties from the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA).
The PPCA collects for the public performance, broadcast and communication of sound recordings (eg radio, in fitness clubs etc). In the case of PPCA, royalties relate to the recording of the song, rather than the song itself.
The monies collected by PPCA are distributed to record labels and featured recording artists who are registered with PPCA under the Artist Direct Distribution Scheme. If the artists don’t claim their share directly, all income is paid to the record label to then payout to the artist based on their contract with the label. Not working with a label? No worries – many self-released/independent artists are for all intents and purposes their own record label, or as PPCA refers to them “PPCA Licensors”.
Registering with PPCA as an artist
Registration with PPCA is free, can be done online, and is a relatively simple process for artists.
If you are signed to a label (major or indie), head to the PPCA artist registration page (link below) and register the sound recordings you play on as a featured artist. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to session musicians in Australia. If you don’t register with PPCA, the label will receive all income and you’ll have to wait for the label to account and pay it to you as per your contract with the label.
You can register as an artist HERE
Update your tracks HERE
If you are an independent artist, you should register as a Licensor, but may need a little more help to get this going. There’s some more information on that process below, and PPCA can provide additional support.
If you’ve registered as a licensor, you can also register as an artist, but it is not necessary to do so. In the event that there are no artist registrations on a track, all income is forwarded through to the relevant Licensor.
Ensure to register before August 31 2020, or you won’t be eligible to receive income for the 2019-2020 financial year should your recordings appear in the airplay log files. PPCA distribute all income at the end of each Distribution period.
Registering with PPCA as a Licensor
Registering as a Licensor is a little more complex and involves signing an ‘Input Agreement’ contract to be returned to PPCA. As this agreement is non-exclusive, you will also need to provide a ‘Direct Licensing Policy’, which indicates whether you may be interested in directly licensing your recordings and if so, sets out how you will offer direct licenses. Templates for Direct Licensing Policies are available online for you to review, and PPCA and the Arts Law Centre of Australia are able to provide further information on your policy, or what it may mean in your circumstances.
You can register as a licensor HERE
Note for Independent Labels
If you’re an independent label, ensure to register as a licensor and encourage your artists to register under PPCA’s Artist Direct Distribution Scheme. This allows your artists to directly collect up to 50% as an ex-gratia payment. All eligible recordings need to be associated with a Licensor’s (ie Label’s) registration or PPCA is unable to include the repertoire in its blanket licences and earn revenue for the recordings. Accordingly, you’ll need to register your label in order for them to register and receive revenue as artists.