Household consumption of music - Industry - Music

At over $2 billion, Australian households spend more on music than they spend on domestic holiday airfares

In 2009-10, each Australian household spent an estimated $380 on music-related goods and services, totalling over $2 billion economy-wide. As a point of comparison, other items of household spending of a similar value included internet charges, dental fees and domestic holiday airfares.

Table 7 - Spending by Australian households on music-related goods and services

Total annual expenditure by households ($m)%
Audio equipment97948%
Other recreational equipment12863%
Total music related2034100%
Total spending on goods and services334,034
Music as a proportion of total spending0.6%


Key music products consumed by Australian households are concert tickets, recorded music and music players

The largest single items of expenditure on music related to music concert fees and charges, with Australian households spending almost $100 per year. Other notable items included portable music players, home entertainment systems and pre-recorded CDs and records.


Performing industry - Industry - Music

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


Creative participation in music by adults - Participation - Music

A large and growing number of Australians work in music as a second job or volunteer

Between 1997 and 2007, the number of people who do some kind of work (paid or unpaid) in the music industry has increased from 260,300 to 335,100 in 2007 (up 29 percent).

Work in the rest of the culture and leisure sector experienced even stronger growth during that timeframe.


Engagement in the music industry, with many involved as live performers

Most of those involved in music industry work are live performers. In 2007 over 250,000 people performed music live, and a further 80,000 worked in another music-related role. The radio sector involved over 100,000.

The growing numbers of unpaid performers suggests that engagement in music is strong – despite no growth in the number of professional musicians.



Competitiveness of Australian musicians - Global - Music

The Australian market favours international artists, to a higher degree than do other markets such as the USA, UK and Canada

International acts dominate the top selling albums in Australia.

Local acts accounted for 30 of the national top 100 albums in 2010, up from 26 in 2009, led by Angus and Julia Stone’s Down the Way at #7. In contrast, local acts account for around 50 percent of the top albums in France, Germany and Japan.

Australia ranks 34th in a list of 48 markets in terms of the proportion of local products in our recorded music market, with just 25 percent of physical products sold originating in Australia. This places us slightly behind our most comparable market, Canada.

The PPCA’s ‘most played’ lists reflect a similar picture – showing an average of 24 Australian recordings in the top 100 between 2005 and 2011 – and just an average of two in the top 10.


Key international markets - Global - Music

Whilst large in size, there are challenges in relation to the Japanese music market

Recent Austrade profiles of music export opportunities focus on potential opportunities in Japan.

According to Austrade, the proportion of international music products sold in Japan is low (17%) and declining, with international acts struggling to establish themselves in the Japanese market.


Trade in recorded music - Global - Music

Australia’s spending on international music products exceeds our exports – with the majority relating to musical instruments

In 2005-06 Australia spent a total of $239 million on music imports and earned $12.8 million on recorded music exports. Included in this is $1.8 million earned on printed music or manuscript exports in 2005-06.

Table 9- Trade in recorded music 2005-06

Imports ($m)Exports ($m)
Music printed or in manuscript5.21.8
Recorded media for sound78.8-
Pianos and other keyboard stringed musical instruments27.81.8
Other stringed musical instruments26.32.4
Wind musical instruments19.61.1
Other musical instruments24.61.7
Musical instruments, the sound of which is produced, or must be amplified electrically56.74
Total expenditure239.012.8


Public funding - Support - Music

Music funding represents just a fraction of government spending on culture – and it supports just a fraction of the music industry

In 2009-10, ABS figures show funding at the national and state level was over $160 million for music performance, music theatre and opera, and music composition and publishing. This represented 2.4 percent of total cultural funding at these levels, and was relative to:

  • Heritage – 10.4 percent
  • Radio and television services – 19.5 percent
  • Environmental heritage – 20.2 percent
  • Art museums, other museums and cultural heritage – 14.2 percent
  • Libraries – 11.4 percent.


Further support for music is provided through other funding streams. For instance, State and Local Governments provide significant support to performing arts venues and facilities. In 2009-10, State and Local government expended $151.5 and $91.1 million on performing arts venues respectively.

Table 12 - Australian and State/Territory Governments spending on music

Value of funding ($m)Percentage of total funding (%)
Australian Government
Music performance64.61.0
Music theatre and opera21.70.3
Music composition and publishing2.00.0
State & Territory Governments
Music performance50.60.8
Music theatre and opera22.10.3
Music composition and publishing0.60.0
Total 161.63.4
Per person$8.42


After growth in 2007-08, public funding for music has stabilized

Public funding at the federal and state government levels remained stable in 2010-11, after growth in previous years.

2010-11 saw a slight decline in funding for music performance and music theatre and opera, and an increase in funding for music composition and publishing.