International Connections - Global - Overview

Many Australian artists are engaged in interstate and international work

Australian artists are actively engaged in working outside their home state. Six in ten professional artists had engaged in interstate work in 2009, and around four in ten had engaged in international work.

Craft practitioners and composers are more likely to have done international work, whilst CACD practitioners and visual artists are the least likely.


Number of songwriters, composers and musicians - Creation - Music

60,000 Australian songwriters and composers have registered a musical work

Around 60,000 Australian songwriters and composers have registered a musical work with the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) during their lifetime and are eligible for royalty payments.

These songwriters and composers are found in all parts of Australia, following a similar geographic distribution to the Australian population. Two-thirds live in metropolitan areas – and most are registered in NSW or VIC.


Over 1,000,000 musical works have been registered in Australia’s song writing history

Both the number of members and the number of new works registered with APRA | AMCOS are growing each year. The number of Australian songwriters and composers registered as members has been growing at an average rate of 10 percent per year since 2005.

Over 80,000 new works were registered by Australian songwriters and composers during 2011 – up 20,000 on 2005 levels – an average growth rate of 4 percent per year. A further 14,000 were registered by publishers on behalf of Australian songwriters.

There are currently over 1,047,000 works registered by Australian songwriters in the APRA | AMCOS database.


600 Indigenous Australian composers are generating royalty income from a musical work

In the 2011 Census, 80 Indigenous Australians indicated their main occupation was a ‘Music Professional’.

Indigenous membership of APRA is somewhat higher – estimated at 875 members in August 2012. APRA estimated that around 609 Indigenous songwriter members had generated royalty income from a musical work since 2000.







Household consumption of music - Industry - Music

Spending on recorded media has fallen whilst concert and nightclub ticket purchases has increased

In real terms, spending on music by households is relatively steady – with only a slight decrease in real terms between 2003-04 and 2009-10.

Spending on services such as music concerts and fees has risen, whilst there has been a decrease in spending on media such as CDs and records to half what it was in 2003-04.

Table 8 - Spending by Australian households on music-related goods and services – 2003-04 and 2009-10

Weekly household expenditure 2009-10 ($)Weekly household expenditure 2003-04 ($)% change in real terms
Audio equipment3.523.345%
Media (e.g. CDs and records)0.921.96-53%
Musical instruments0.460.80-43%
Services (Concerts and nightclubs)2.411.5061%
Total music related7.317.60-4%
Total spending on goods and services1,236.281,061.3116%


Performing industry - Industry - Music

Music concert ticket sales reached $1 billion in 2013, with 11 million attendances nationally

According to Live Performance Australia, ticket sales at surveyed music events reached just over $1 billion in 2013, across Musical Theatre, Music Festivals, Opera, Classical and Contemporary music categories.

Contemporary music performances accounted for 6 million of the 11 million attendances at ticketed music events in 2013.

Figure 10 - Revenue, attendances and average ticket price of key music performance categories

RevenueAttendancesAverage ticket price
Contemporary music$628,130,1466,266,137$110.50
Musical Theatre$193,389,7632,085,131$100.94
Music Festivals$107,367,7801,053,419$130.46
Classical Music$70,481,8411,169,643$73.18
Total music events$1,042,653,23510,919,091


Music performances garner the highest ticket prices in Australia’s entertainment industry

Tickets to music performances captured by Live Performance Australia have average ticket prices well above other artforms such as dance and theatre.

Large scale international acts can have a significant bearing on ticket prices – and the timing of tours can impact sector revenues in any period. For instance, contemporary music ticket sales revenue grew by 30 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 levels due to a number of high profile international performers touring Australia (2013 saw Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Rhianna perform to large audiences in Australia).

Contemporary music continues to be the largest category in the live entertainment industry, although music festivals, opera and circus and physical theatre have higher ticket prices.


Tag : performance

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.


Live music in almost 3,904 hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and nightclubs in 2009-10 generated an estimated 42 million attendances

A 2011 study conducted by Ernst & Young for APRA | AMCOS and the Australia Council indicated that there were over 3,900 licensed live music venues in Australia, including hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and night clubs

It is estimated that these venues staged approximately 328,000 live performances in the 2009-10 financial year, equating to approximately 6,300 performances per week.

Hotels and bars represented the biggest portion of the venue-based live music sector – estimated to generate over 24 million attendances per year.

Whilst there were only 75 nightclubs, the study estimated they had the highest number of
performances, and the most attendances per performance compared with other venues.

Restaurants and cafes represented the smallest portion of the venue-based live music sector, with fewer performances and average attendances in their 450 venues.

Table 3 - Key metrics of live music venues in Australia

Hotels/ barsClubsRestaurants & cafesNight clubsTotal
Number of live music venues1,9721,407450753,904
Number of venue-based live music performances184,895103,59228,73710,512327,736
Total attendance at venue-based live music performances 24,281,32412,859,0992,136,5852,689,09641,966,104
Average performances per venue94746414084
Average attendance per performance13112474256128
Average attendance per venue12,3139,1394,74835,85510,750


Live music in hotels, clubs and restaurants generated gross revenues of $1.21 billion and contributed around $650 million to the Australian economy

Some licensed venues generate revenue through ticket sales, however most performances are not ticketed. When surveyed about their events, venues indicated the main reason for staging live music was to generate patronage and invigorate other parts of the venue’s business, particularly food and beverage sales.

These venues were estimated to generate total revenues of $1,211.1 million in 2009-10, mostly through food and beverage spending by attendees.

The study estimated that the industry contributed $651.9 million in value to the Australian economy – which is broadly comparable with the sports industry.[1] It also estimated the venue-based live music industry supports employment of approximately 14,866 full time equivalent positions.

[1]   The comparisons made here include figures obtained through different methodologies, and should be treated
with caution.

Table 4: Comparison of value-added by music and similarly sized industries

IndustryValue added ($m)SourceYear of estimate
Film and Video Productions $1,110.7ABS2012
Sports and physical recreation clubs, teams and sports professionals$705.2ABS2006
Venue-based live music industry$651.9E&Y2010
Book Publishers$482.2ABS2004


Performances by Indigenous artists are held in a minority of licensed live music venues

Analysis of APRA licensing returns suggests that performances by Indigenous artists were held in almost 30 percent of hotels and clubs during 2004-05.

The proportion of venues with Indigenous performances also varies from state to state. Over the three years to 2006, APRA returns show that 37 percent of venues in NSW held performances by Indigenous artists, compared with less than 1 percent of venues in Tasmania.






Orchestras, opera companies and choirs attract almost 2 million attendances annually

The Australia Council supports almost 30 music organisations with regular funding to produce and present music performances to Australian audiences.

In 2011 regularly funded organisations, including 14 Major Performing Arts (MPA) organsiations and 15 Key organisations, were involved in development of over 150 new Australian works, and attracted almost 2 million attendances.

Table 5 - Summary of music performance organisations in Australia

TypeNumber of orgsNew Aussie worksAttendancesBox office income ($000s)Sponsorship & philanthropy ($’000s)Employment
MPA organisations14401,413,12792,74833,0361,594
Key organisations15122511,8464,7054,31991


Returns from performance and broadcast - Industry - Music

Large numbers of songwriters and composers share in performance royalty distributions

In 2011-12, APRA distributed over $170 million to around 244,623 writers, composers and publishers, for the public performance and communication of musical works. APRA recieved around $22 million in royalty recipets from overseas societies in 2011-12.

The number of works in each annual distribution has been growing over time – with around 726,825 unique works in the 2011-12 distribution.

In 2010-11, APRA collected and distributed over $135 million to writers and publishers. Around 15 percent of this amount ($20 million) was distributed to local songwriters and composers, and 42 percent ($56 million) to local and international publishers.[1]

Looking at local songwriters and composers - a total of 52,000 distributions were made  by APRA in 2010, totalling $20 million. Two discrete biannual distributions were made, meaning some members received two distributions. Most members received small amounts.

There were over 700,000 works represented in the 2010-11 distribution. The rights holders sharing in the distributions are approximately 18 percent local and 72 percent foreign. For example, in 2010 approximately 41,500 local rights holders and 190,500 foreign rights holders were paid distributions by APRA.

[1]   Amounts paid to publisher members are for local works as well as foreign works sub-published in APRA territory


Rights - Industry - Music

Broadcasting, performance and use of live and recorded music generated over $290 million in licence fees in 2012

APRA | AMCOS have licences in place with 84,000 licensees, and have 81,000 members.

It paid 244,623 music creators and rights holders in 2011-12 and distributed around $237 million in royalty distributions to songwriters, composers and publishers.

PPCA have licences in place with over 54,000 venues Australia-wide, including clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants, fitness centres, shops, halls and dance studios for the broadcast, communication or public playing of recorded music. It also grants licences to radio and TV stations.

On behalf of rights holders, it distributed over $29 million to licencor labels and registered Australian artists in 2011-12.


Attendance - Participation - Music

Live music is the most commonly attended art form, with 57 percent of Australians attending in 2013

In comparison to other artforms, live music was attended by a greater proportion of the Australian population (57 percent vs. 38 percent for theatre and dance and 37 percent for visual arts and craft).

However, live music goers attend less frequently than visual arts attendees with 13 percent of people attending monthly compared to 17 percent for visual arts.


Popular music such as rock, pop, country and dance is the most widely attended music genre

Attendance across all music categories has remained stable since 2009. Musical theatre, classical music and opera are attended by significant numbers in 2013, but ‘Other live music’ (such as rock, pop, country, dance etc) was still the largest genre within the live music category being attended by 39 percent of all live music attendees.


Opera and musical theatre attendance is less frequent than other music genres

Frequency of music attedance has remained stable since 2009. In 2013, Opera and new classical were attended the least of the music genres overall. However, new classical was attended most often with 15 percent of people attending monthly. Opera and musical theatre had the lowest proportion of monthly attenders at 4 percent and 5 percent respectively.


Popular music audiences are younger than other arts goers

Attendees of music events are significantly younger than attendees of other arts events (68 percent being aged 15 to 24 years).

Popular music audiences are significantly younger than other music audiences. Popular music audiences were generally in the 15-24 age group (84 percent), while many classical music audiences were aged 65 years and over (42 percent).




The internet plays an important role for attendees of live music events, with music audiences more likely to engage online before, during and after events

Live music audiences were more likely than other arts audiences to use the internet at almost all stages when attending a music event.

Popular music attendees were more likely than attendees of opera, classical music and musical theatre to use the internet at various stages of their attendance journey. For example, musical festival attendees were more likely than other music attendees to engage in online word of mouth before (42 percent vs. 28 percent) and after the event (53 percent vs. 37 percent). Meanwhile, opera attendees were less likely than other music attendees to engage in online word of mouth both prior to (16 percent vs. 28 percent) or after an event (18 percent vs. 34 percent).

While opera attendees were also less likely to further enrich their experience by accessing online images and video before or after the event, they were more likely than other music attendees to have an interest in being able to do this (29 percent vs. 13 percent after the event).

Figure 30 - Use of the internet at each stage of the 'attendance journey' - arts attendees and live music attendees

Total arts attendeesLive music attendees
At the event31%32%
After the event66%73%


Of those who booked tickets to attend a live music event, most did so well in advance

E-newsletters from ticketing organisations were the most frequent online tool used to build awareness of live music events.

Eight in ten live music attendees booked their event between a few weeks to three months or more in advance.


Creative participation in music by children - Participation - Music

Attendances at educational performances by major music organisations have decreased since 2006

The number of educational performances by Major Performing music organisations fell from 3,025 in 2006 to 2,687 in 2009, before returning to 2,950 in 2010.

In comparison, attendances also fell between 2006 and 2009 at an average rate of 5.5 percent each year between 2006 and 2009 (equivalent to 32 fewer attendances each year).

The number of attendances at educational music performances continued to fall in 2010 reflecting a 6.5 percent drop since 2009.


Key international markets - Global - Music

Australia’s key export markets are the USA, UK and Europe

The key international markets for performance and broadcast of Australian music were the USA, UK and Europe.


Touring - Global - Music

Australia’s major performing arts organisations perform to international audiences in Asia, Europe and North America

In 2010, three MPA organisations presented 38 music performances abroad. The number of performances has dropped below 2008 and 2009 levels – with the global financial crisis impacting on many companies’ touring plans.

Most music performances were presented in Asia and Europe – in contrast to the theatre organisations who toured mostly to North America.

Whilst the number of chamber music performances exceeded symphony orchestra performances – the latter attracted a larger audience – with over 22,000 people attending nine performances in Europe.

Figure 26 - International music performances by MPA organisations

AsiaEuropeNorth America
Chamber music - 20102204461176821121200
Symphony orchestra - 20100001922803000


Public galleries - Industry - Visual Arts

Australia Council-funded visual arts organisations produced 233 new works in 2011, and generated over 4 million exhibition attendances

The Australia Council supports 39 visual arts organisations with regular funding – including galleries, arts and craft centres, festivals and service organisations.

In 2011, these regularly funded visual arts organisations produced 233 new Australian works (e.g. commissioning of new contemporary visual art works). They also recorded over 4 million attendances. The majority of these attendances were at exhibitions with a small proportion going to visual arts performance events.

Table 5 - Summary of visual arts organisations in Australia - 2011

‘Key Organisations’ supported with multi-year funding:Number of orgsNew Australian worksExhibition attendancesPerformance attendances
Visual arts organisations 3923340803287793
All arts organisations14994746614691331790