Threatened by the local association of record companies with 3,000% increases in fees for playing music in group exercise classes, Fitness Australia is fighting back with the help of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and Fitness First Australia. Together, these two organizations have pledged $135,000 (USD) and are looking for Australian health clubs to match these funds in the fight to stop the music industrys attempts to raise the tariff charged to clubs.
This could potentially have very damaging implications for our industry, not just in Australia, but globally, said Tony de Leede, managing director of Fitness First Australia and a member of the IHRSA board of directors.
At issue is the way music is valued. The current Fitness Class Tariff in Australia, which is paid to the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), is AU $0.986 per class with an annual cap of $2,654. The PPCA has been studying how music is valued and is suggesting that the proposed fee either be increased to $31.67 per class with no cap an average increase of 3,172% per club or that clubs be charged a rate of $26.08 per member per month.
Either scenario would devastate the industry and has serious implications for clubs in other countries since PPCA sister organizations around the world may well decide to restructure their fees in a similar way, said Joe Moore, president of IHRSA. For the sake of the global industry, we need to stop this issue in Australia.
Fitness Australia is pursuing a strategy to challenge the model that the PPCA is using to value music in health clubs. PPCA has already been successful in increasing fees to the night club industry in excess of 1,400%.
The night club industry did not organize they did not fight back, said Susan Kingsmill, president of Fitness Australia. We have no choice; if we dont fight this, we wont have an industry left to fight for.
This issue, and concern that other issues with global implications could arise, has spurred IHRSA to develop the Global Industry Leadership Council, which will raise funds from clubs worldwide to help protect the industry. Tony de Leede has been selected as chairman of the Council. Clubs, suppliers and individuals interested in contributing to the Global Industry Fund should contact Cathy McNeil, IHRSA vice president of International Operations, at or 617.951.0055, ext. 123.
IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 9,100 health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and more than 700 suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to the global battle against obesity and disease. For more information, please visit


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