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Is the Australian APRA mini-licence a way for podcasters to licence music?

June 15, 2019 · By James Cridland · 1.4 minutes to read

APRA MCOS is the music collection agency for Australia and New Zealand, helping creators get paid for their work.

They have an online mini-licence for music use, which covers podcasts - either minimal clips or even “featured music”.

It can be used for any podcast that earns less than AUD$12,000 a year (US$8,200), as long as it isn’t used for corporate campaigns.

And it starts at only AUD$275 a year (USD$189), including GST.

Too good to be true?

Afraid so.

You typically need two kinds of licences to use music:

The APRA AMCOS online mini-licence is great; but it only covers the bits APRA AMCOS covers. If you want to play a recording of a bloke you found in the pub singing an INXS song, this licence is great for you. But if you want to play INXS themselves, then you also need a licence from the PPCA. APRA AMCOS point this out quite clearly (at the bottom of page 3):

If you are using sound recordings, you will need to obtain licences from the relevant copyright owner: generally a record label, artist or digital aggregator.

As you may have already worked out, the PPCA don’t offer a podcast licence. They do offer a specific licence for broadcast licence holders who may wish to offer “catch-up” podcasting, but your plans to use commercial music in your podcast is, sadly, not going to happen.

Here is more detail about using commercial music in podcasts if you want to read another article telling you you can’t do things.



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