Industry includes the organisations and groups working together to create and distribute art to Australians.

Learn more about the role of different organisations in publishing, distributing, displaying and selling works to the public.

Get the facts on household consumption and the emerging role of technology in the arts industry.

Building Markets

Australian households spend $6.5 billion a year on arts-related goods and services – more than dairy products or household appliances

In 2009-10, Australian households spent $15 per week on arts-related products, equating to approximately $6.5 billion economy-wide.

This spending is related to receptive enjoyment of the arts at home such as listening to music (57 percent), attending arts events (21 percent) and creatively participating in the arts (22 percent).

Key items of spending included books ($4.64 per week), culture courses ($2.00 per week) and music concerts ($1.89 per week).


Spending on the arts increased by 7 percent between 2003-04 and 2009-10, creating more commercial opportunities for the arts

Spending on the arts increased by 7 percent between 2003-04 and 2009-10, after adjusting for inflation.

Spending associated with attending the arts grew the fastest, but still represents the smallest component of spending.

Looking at individual categories, the highest growth rates occurred in music concert fees and charges, paintings, carvings and sculptures, and portable music players.

Spending on musical instruments and accessories, CD players and pre-recorded compact discs and records (audio) decreased over the period.


Spending on entertainment and media is expected to continue growing at 3 percent a year to 2018

PwC’s Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014-2018 predicts that Australia’s total entertainment and media market will continue to grow at a 3.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach $39.8 billion in 2018.[1]

Much of this growth is related to Australian internet access spending, which consists of consumer fees paid to internet service providers for broadband plans, wireless mobile services and data cards, and dial-up access.

Strong growth in the Australian music sector is largely driven by the digital distribution market which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent between 2014 and 2018.

The live music sector in Australia remain important. However, the fluctuating Australian dollar and recent changes in the festival market means international touring is no longer a guaranteed success.

[1] Including Consumer and educational books, Consumer magazines, Filmed entertainment, Free-to-air television, Interactive games, Internet, Music, Newspapers, Radio and Subscription television.


Creative and performing arts industries contribute less than half the economic value of broadcasting, but have double the employment

Based on statistics for selected industries published by the ABS, the creative and performing arts industry is bigger than the heritage sector, in terms of total income and industry value-added. [1] However, it is smaller than the broadcasting, printing and publishing industries.

Around 37,000 people are employed in the creative and performing arts industry, which is comparable in size to the motion picture industry, and high relative to the income of the sector.[2]

The creative and performing arts industry grew in size between 2007-08 and 2009-10 across all metrics.

[1] As defined by ANZIC 2006. This includes industries engaged in performing arts operation, Creative Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers and performing arts venue operation.

Industry value added (IVA) represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by the industry. IVA is the measure of the contribution by businesses in the selected industry to Australia’s gross domestic product.

[2] Note that this is based on a single industry and so differs from Cunningham and Higgs’ analysis of the 2011 census (which takes into account a number of creative occupations and industries using the trident approach. See the report for more details).

Figure 36 - Industry metrics for selected cultural industries

EmploymentTotal income
($ million)
Industry value-added
($ million)
Printing (including the reproduction of recorded media)50,0009,2524,034
Publishing (except Internet and music publishing) 49,00013,1817,091
Motion picture and sound recording activities36,0006,7522,157
Broadcasting (except Internet)18,0009,3374,052
Creative and performing arts activities37,0003,5011,441
Internet publishing and broadcasting5,000947392
Library and other information services1,000209107
Heritage activities6,000705366