In addition to major ticketed events, live music brings millions of fans into venues such as hotels, clubs, cafes and restaurants. In 2011, it was estimated to generate 41.97 million attendances, and leverage $1.21 billion revenue through audience spending in licensed live music venues.
With 6,300 such gigs each week across the country, live music also helps to sustain almost 15,000 jobs.
After many years of declining revenues the recorded music market is steady, thanks to rising digital sales.
Physical sales revenue continues to fall, but digital sales are growing faster as fans buy more online, and embrace subscription services such as Spotify.
With around 11 million visitors a year, galleries are now more highly attended than Australia’s most popular spectator sport, Australian Rules Football, which had 10 million attendances in 2009-10.
There’s no denying the music business is big business, contributing to the Australian economy and employing tens of thousands of Australians.
But most artists earn small amounts from their creative work. Less than 200 musicians and composers earned over $100,000 from their creative practice in 2007/08 – and the median creative income for performing musicians was $7,200.
We found 9% of Australians over 15 years of age attended an Indigenous visual arts and craft event in 2009 – equivalent to over 1.66 million people.
Looking at the arts overall, attitudes to Indigenous art are increasingly positive. Almost half of all Australians (47%) say their interest in Indigenous art is growing. A further 17% say they already have a strong interest and will continue to.
Even in tough economic times, the music business is big business.
In 2009/10, each Australian household spent an estimated $380 on music-related goods and services, totalling over $2 billion economy-wide. That’s more than they spent on internet charges, dental fees or domestic holiday airfares.
We all know the music industry is changing fast – but overall household spending on music is steady, confirming the enduring importance of music to Australian communities.
Australia’s art museums are home to 2.8 million art works. In 2007-08, they held over 2,000 special exhibitions or displays, and recorded over 2 million paid and 10 million unpaid visitors.
Our art museums and galleries also enable millions of international tourists to experience Australian culture, and fuel important economic activity through tourism. In 2009, around 30% of international visitors and 43% of domestic travellers visited a museum or gallery.
Japanese artists are big in Japan, but US and British artists are big in Australia.
Our market favours international acts, with just 16 Australian artists making the Top 100 singles in ARIA’s End of Decade Singles (2000-2009).
Almost all Australians intentionally listen to music weekly or more, and 57% attend live music events each year, making music the biggest art form in Australia.
By comparison, only 42% of us undertake physical activity for sport, recreation or exercise weekly or more.
Australia’s 12,800 visual artists are well educated, with 90 percent undertaking formal training to become a professional artist.
Creative training is also valued outside the core arts sector: 20% of visual artists apply their artistic skills in creative industries such as advertising, design and architecture, and 20% apply their artistic skills in non-cultural sectors such as health.