Radio Fair Play

16 August 2023

Radio Fair Play


Radio Fair Play is a campaign by PPCA to ensure artists and rights holders (usually labels) are paid fairly for the use of their music.

· Artists and rights holders aren’t getting paid fairly for songs played on radio

· Profitable commercial radio stations and the ABC are protected from paying more by a legislated cap

· Get involved to help us remove the cap and negotiate better deal for you





Fifty-four years ago, the Copyright Act was written

Back then, radio stations were less profitable and localised Radio argued for a cap on how much they had to pay in licensing fees – and they won


The Cap

The cap is set at 1% of gross commercial radio revenue

ABC, including Triple J, is capped at just half a cent ($0.005) per head of population, and is not indexed to CPI


Unique to Sound Recordings

No cap exists on any other type of copyright, the free market negotiates rates.

If agreements aren’t reached, it goes to the Copyright Tribunal to establish a fair rate.

This happens for radio broadcast fees of sound recordings too – but that rate can never go beyond the caps.


It’s unfair.

Unique to Australia

There is no similar cap anywhere else in the world

Global rates are currently between 1.5% and 4% for use of sound recordings.


Australia is out of step.

Commercial radio is highly profitable – and music is why people listen to it

Ad revenue for commercial radio grew to over $700 million last financial year

Yet they pay just $4.4 million (approx.) for the use of all sound recordings across 260 stations


ABC pays just $130k (approx.)

Last year more than 2 in 3 Australians reported regularly listening to music on the radio

Music deserves a higher value.

It is time


PPCA and others have fought for decades.

Reviews have recommended its removal and in 2006, the Government said they would abolish it. But they didn’t.

With cost-of-living pressures, and industry still recovering from COVID – it ends now.

It’s time to SCRAP THE CAP.




In The Media

“Radio has built a successful business playing music, yet artists and rightsholders are not being paid a fair market rate when their music is played on the radio”

The Music Network 

Australia’s recording industry is launching a fresh push for a greater cut of royalties from commercial  radio outlets, amid claims that the nation’s decades-old copyright laws are “anti-competitive”.

The Australian 

"The Australian music industry has declared war on radio stations, lobbying Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to remove a cap on how much the stations must pay to broadcast their sound recordings."

Financial Review


"All we want is to be able to negotiate a fair market rate for the use of this material, not to have the Copyright Act tell us and tell our artists that they can't be paid any more that 1% of gross revenue from radio stations who are very profitable." - PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd

ABC Radio National Drive Interview


"The Australian recording industry recently announced a campaign called Radio Fair Play⁠.

The campaign argues “artists and rights holders aren’t getting paid fairly for songs played on radio”, in reference to the license fees radio stations pay for the use of songs in their broadcasts."

The Conversation


"Australian musicians say they feel exploited and neglected as they campaign for a 54-year-old cap that limits royalty payments they receive from commercial radio stations and the ABC to be scrapped"

Brisbane Times 

Herald Sun

"DAVID Pocock says the time has come to say fair’s fair, telling commercial radio stations to pay the rent and pay their share to Australian artists for playing their songs."

City News

"The rules, established 55 years ago, bar the recording industry from brokering their own broadcast deals, who are instead beholden to the legislated caps, and the limited revenue stream they provide."

"Since 1968, sound recording royalties have been capped at one per cent of the commercial radio sector’s revenue, which last financial year amounted to $4.4 million. The ABC’s contribution is capped at just 0.5 cents per head of population."

Sydney Morning Herald

"Musicians will get more money in their pockets when their songs are played on radio if a new payment push is successful."

The Advocate

"David Pocock says the time has come to say fair's fair, telling commercial radio stations to pay the rent and pay their share to Australian artists for playing their songs."

The West Australian


The Daily Aus

"Australian musicians Jack River and Josh Pyke have stood behind ACT Senator David Pocock’s proposed bill to remove limits on how much Australian recording artists can be paid when their music is played on the radio."

Women's Agenda

"Senator David Pocock, who introduced the bill, argued it supports market-based negotiations and removes market distortion effects the legislation has caused."