Research commissioned by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) has found that independent music has a 30% share of the Australian market.
Of the 30% indie share, 57% of the 30% comes from Australian music. By comparison, the US market showed 31.6% of revenue went to the indie sector in 2015.
The survey found that recording industry in Australia generates around $400 million of revenue and of that $154.8 million came from the independent sector. In perspective, the majors draw volume sales from a small group of artists like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Independent labels don’t have the blockbuster artists, so therefore the figure represents more indie artists than major artist sales.
In 2014-15, the independent sector in Australia released over 6000 singles and albums. 95% of indie releases were for new music.
Chris Maund, of Mushroom Group of Companies, states that “the independent sector is important for the industry, but also for the Australian community. We sign a lot more Australian artists than the majors, creating funding and opportunities for local talent,” says Maund. “Also indie labels can afford to take more risks, and so ensure the diversity of music. Almost every new music genre in history, from hip-hop, grunge to trance, were launched from indie labels – with the passion and low overheads to take such risks.”
Maria Amato, GM of AIR said, “This is truly a benchmark report that serves as the first indicator of the enormous cultural and fiscal value the Australian independent recording sector contributes to the Australian economy. For the 2014-2015 year, the findings indicate a 30% market share of a $400 million sector and present a view that the cultural value and contribution of music in Australia rests with the Independent sector”.
In an ever-changing market, it was found that 29% of revenue for independent music came from streaming based on the 2014-15 figures but more current data from Merlin is showing that almost two-thirds of independent labels now earn more revenue from streaming than downloads.
AIR engaged Deloitte Access Economics to conduct the survey.