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Australia’s Recorded Music Industry Posts 10.9% Growth For 2023: ARIA

March 26, 2024 - Music
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For the fifth consecutive year, Australia’s recorded music industry posted growth in 2023 – all thanks to streaming and Aussies’ love of wax.

According to wholesale data published by ARIA, the nation’s record market lifted by 10.9% to A$676 million ($442 million), powered by subscriptions to music streaming brands.

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That rate of growth for Australia, a top 10 market, the IFPI confirms in its newly-published Global Music Report, is in line with international trends.

Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, and the full slate of subscription platforms now generate 69% of the industry’s total value, or $467.6 million ($305 million), up by 13.9% year-on-year, reports ARIA, the labels trade association.

Also reporting gains for 2023 is the space for ad-supported streaming models, up 15.3% jump to $68.3 million ($44 million).

All digital products combined, including downloads and video streams, account for a sum upwards of A$616.1 million ($403 million), a 12% year-on-year lift. In other words, more than 90 cents in the record industry’s dollar is generated by digital.

Vinyl albums are an ongoing sweet spot, posting gains of 14.1% to A$42.1 million ($27 million), a sum more than twice that of the dwindling market for CD albums (A$17 million or $11 million, down 16%), for decades the record industry’s diesel engine. The rate of growth for vinyl, however, appears to be slowing.

An overall strong market report is masking a problem that Australia’s music community is trying desperately to crack — how to break more homegrown in Australia and abroad?

Where the IFPI’s GMR is flush with case studies on the success of Afrobeats, Latin music, K-pop, and blockbuster acts from North America and the U.K., acts from the land Down Under aren’t stealing the limelight.

“While Australia remains the 10th largest music market in the world – and Aussies clearly love music,” comments ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, “it remains harder than ever for our local artists to reach these audiences.”

ARIA’s end-of-year charts “paint a clear picture of this,” notes Herd, with only four Australian albums impacting the top 100 for 2023, led by INXS‘ hits collection The Very Best (at No. 58), and three singles, none of which were released during the reporting period. The best-placed Australian artist on the year-end singles tally was The Kid Laroi with his 2021 Justin Bieber collaboration, “Stay.”

“Achieving cut-through becomes increasingly difficult for artists as the growth rate of subscription and ad supported streaming models continues to increase year on year,” notes Herd, “while nearly all other growth rates have eased compared to 2022.”

The Albanese federal government listened to the industry’s dilemmas, and, in 2023, activated Creative Australia, the centerpiece of the federal National Cultural PolicyRevive, which its architects hope will turn Australia into a music powerhouse.

Among the government’s promises is the launch of Music Australia, a reimagined national music development agency that would support and invest in the development of Australian contemporary music, and now led by founding director Millie Millgate. The Music Australia Council, effectively the Music Australia board, includes legendary concert promoter Michael Chugg and Future Classics founder and CEO Nathan McLay.

The government’s National Cultural Policy is an ambitious year-long action plan, structured around five interconnected pillars and underpinned by a commitment for new, additional investment totaling A$286 million (US$202 million) — record levels of arts funding. Music Australia alone is funded to the tune of A$69 million ($44 million) over four years.

“We are fortunate that compared to other major global markets, our growth rates paint a favorable picture for the future of music in Australia,” adds Herd. “Music is valuable, it is popular and it is growing. We look forward to working with the industry and government to ensure that message is heard and that value is increasingly used to support our incredible local talent.”

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