LPA 2013-14 Annual Report

Policy and Programs

In 2013-2014, LPA’s Policy & Programs area:

  • Negotiated the terms and conditions of a new Concert Promoters Licence fee with the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) after APRA proposed a 100% increase to the 20 year old rate.
  • Continued our flagship initiative, Greener Live Performances Through Energy Efficiency and developed downloadable resources and case studies, online tools, workshops and seminars specifically for live performance venues, production companies and touring and outdoor events.
  • Produced the ninth annual Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey, and presented the results in a new interactive digital report format. The Survey included information from new data partners, improving our coverage of Single and Multi-Category Festivals.
  • Published the second ever Study of the Size and Scope of the Live Performance Industry, also as an interactive digital report. The study combines the results of the 2012 LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey with an estimation approach, to calculate the industry’s economic contribution in terms of gross output, value add and full time equivalent employment.
  • Launched the Asian Producer’s Platform initiative with Performing Lines and partners from Korea, Japan and Taiwan. APP is a new long term public-private partnership initiative designed to create a strongly linked network of independent producers who can work effectively across the Asian region, sharing and developing artistic works, skills and cultural practices.
  • Continued to represent the interests of licensees in the ACCC process for the Reauthorisation of APRA, and gave feedback to APRA on their new Alternative Dispute Resolution process and Plain English Licence Guides.
  • Worked with the Code Reviewer (Jennifer Huby from TressCox Lawyers) on developing and distributing the Member Survey measuring compliance with the LPA Ticketing Code of Practice. The results will be published by the end of 2014.
  • Commenced discussions with the ACCC about revising the LPA Ticketing Code of Practice to more strongly reflect consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law. The Code Review will be completed in early 2015.
  • Provided advice to Members and responded to complaints and queries from the general public regarding their rights and obligations under the LPA Ticketing Code of Practice, Australian Consumer Law and the Privacy Act.
  • Developed new Member Guidelines and Policies including a Child Safe Policy Guide, Guidance on the new Australian Privacy Principles and updated information on Component Pricing.
  • Informed the rollout plan for the Mandatory Code of Practice for the Employment of Children in Entertainment as a member of the Workforce Victoria Child Employment Working Party.
  • Maintained dialogue with our airline partner, Virgin Australia, around improving the touring experiences of musicians and other acts.
  • Built relationships and shared knowledge at industry events including the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress (New York), Asian Producers Conference (Seoul, Korea), Australian Performing Arts Market (Brisbane), IETM Meeting (Melbourne), Harvest APACA Conference (Hobart), Ticketing Professionals Conference (Brisbane), Venue Management Association (VMA) Congress (Melbourne), Victorian Theatre Meeting (Melbourne), ENTECH Conference and Tradeshow (Melbourne), CX Roadshow and BigSound Music Conference and Showcase (Brisbane).
  • Advocated for the business and cultural interests of the industry through submissions to:
    • Senate Inquiry into Ticket Scalping in Australia
    • ACMA about proposed changes to wireless spectrum arrangements
    • Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act
    • Central Barangaroo Tenant Uses and Identification
    • Brisbane Cultural Precinct Master Plan

Photo: Jeff Busby

Live Performance Copyright Licence Fees

In January 2013 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) instigated a review of royalty rates for the performance of copyrighted works at live ticketed events. APRA proposed significant tariff increases and changes, specifically to the Concert Promoters Licence (GCLB) and Festival Licence (GCLF).

APRA’s original proposal included the following changes to be effective from 1 July 2014:

  • doubling of the current Concert Promoters licence rate from 1.5% to 3% of Gross Admission Receipts;
  • eliminating the 10% prompt payment discount;
  • redefining Gross Admission Receipts to include booking fees and credit card charges;
  • eliminating the Festival Licence; and
  • implementation of these changes to be effective from 1 July 2014.

LPA has been in ongoing negotiation with APRA since initiating their tariff review. After an extensive Member consultation process, commissioning of data, ongoing legal advice and several meetings with APRA, in April the LPA negotiating team successfully moved APRA away from their original proposal to a more acceptable position for the industry.

The mutually agreed to changes to be effective from 1 January 2015 are:

  • A phased in rate increase to the Concert Promoters Licence over 4 years to reach a maximum 2% on 1 January 2018, operating for a minimum of 8 years, commencing from 1 January 2015.
  • An incremental phase out of the Prompt Payment Discount over 4 years, commencing from 1 July 2015.
  • The current definition of Gross Admission Receipts to be retained; hence booking fees and credit card charges will continue to be excluded.
  • The Festival Licence to remain separate from the Concert Promoters licence and reviewed separately. Agreement on new terms to apply to festivals, including a new objective definition of the parameters of the scheme, is expected by the end of 2014.

LPA is of the view that the negotiated result is a significant achievement on behalf of Members. We have managed to avoid the Copyright Tribunal and have also delayed proposed increases to the Festival Licence. It should also be noted that we have delayed any change to the Concert Promoters Licence by 2 years since APRA first proposed the tariff review in 2013.

Industry Research

LPA is committed to continuously producing reliable industry research that illustrates the nature and breadth of the Live Performance Industry.

In 2013 LPA released the:

Both of these reports are prepared in conjunction with EY and received strong media coverage. As the Industry’s leading source for up-to-date results and trends in Australian live performance, LPA’s research reports are drawn upon extensively by the industry, government, media and business.

For the first time LPA has released both publications as interactive digital reports online, to allow for greater ease of comparison with previous year’s data and tracking of trends.

Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2013

LPA’s tenth annual Survey was released on 18 August 2014. New additions to this year’s Survey shows the industry achieved record growth in 2013, generating $1.479 billion in revenue, up 22.7% on 2012 ($1.205 billion). Revenue growth was driven by an increase in the total number of paid tickets and the average ticket price. Overall, the Survey recorded 17.9 million tickets for Live Entertainment Industry events were issued in Australia in 2013. This represents an increase of 10.2% on 2012 (16.27 million tickets).

New data partners for this year’s Survey included data from FringeTIX, which provides ticketing services to the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and data from the Perth-based Fringe Festival Fringe World 2013. Additionally, Bluesfest provided ticketing information for the Bluesfest Festival, Boomerang Festival, and their touring shows.

Size and Scope of the Live Performance Industry 2012

The Size and Scope Report combines the results of the 2012 LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey with an estimation approach, to calculate the industry’s economic contribution in terms of gross output, value add and full time equivalent employment.

The study is broader in scope than the previous 2010 study (based on 2008 data), as it includes data from the Key Organisations of the Australia Council for the Arts, and regional and metropolitan venues that are members of APACA. With this new data, along with a growth in the existing data set, the Gross Output of the industry is now $2.5 billion.

The results show that the industry’s value add is in excess of $1.5 billion, having experienced growth of 17% from $1.15 billion in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2012. Growth has been driven by increased overall industry wages, and an estimated 21% increase in the number of full time equivalent employees. The industry’s value add is significantly higher than analogous industries, including Film, Television & Digital Games ($930 million – 2013 ABS data).

Greener Live Performances through Energy Efficiency

Greener Live Performances through Energy Efficiency

LPA is now more than half way through a two year project to provide resources, tools and training in energy efficiency specifically for live performance venues, production and touring companies and outdoor events. Project Manager, Suzanne Daley, and our consultants Dynamic Eco Solutions (Lisa Erhart), EC3 Global (Mark Olsen and Lea Lange) and Greenshoot Pacific (Meegan Jones) have made presentations and provided training both online and at industry gatherings around the country. The LPA website contains a suite of online resources such as Checklists, Fact Sheets, Management Guides and Case Studies to support the industry to work towards saving money and the environment by being more energy efficient.

We are also particularly proud of our bespoke online tools – the LPA IG Tools (adapted from the Julie’s Bicycle UK IG Tools) and the Venues GHG Calculator. Both provide a simple mechanism for live performance enterprises to measure and benchmark their energy use. Data collected through the tools will be used by LPA to produce the industry’s first ever energy use benchmarking reports.

LPA’s activities in this project have been funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry through the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.

Priorities for 2015

  • Finalise review of the LPA Ticketing Code of Practice and conduct member and consumer education campaign about key changes
  • Complete the Greener Live Performances Through Energy Efficiency project, including publication of benchmarking reports, video testimonials and case studies
  • Develop a business case for live performance investment incentives based on recent developments in the UK and US
  • Employ a dedicated Contemporary Music Policy Advisor to focus on research, resource and advocacy needs of contemporary music Members