Live Music fuels Australian economy to the tune of $1.2 billion

Monday, 19 September 2011

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The first ever national study of the value of live music has found that in 2009/10 the Australian live music industry injected $1.21 billion into the national economy, with total profits and wages of $652 million and supporting almost 15,000 full-time jobs.

The outcomes of this study were released today in a report by Ernst & Young called, “The economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia”. 

The study examined the value of live music from a venue’s perspective and the figures demonstrate the industry’s significant contribution to the Australian economy.

The industry also attracts strong audiences with the report finding that 41.97 million patrons attended 328,000 venue-based live music performances at 3,904 venues across Australia in 2009/10.

The study was commissioned by APRA|AMCOS in conjunction with the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Arts NSW and Live Performance Australia.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Mason, Director of Music at the Australia Council for the Arts, said, “This report confirms the great audience interest in attending live music and provides evidence of the economic benefits to venues when presenting live music.  With this report we have a benchmark for measuring any changes in activity around the country, and this will be invaluable in informing discussion amongst policy makers and stakeholders about how to maintain and develop this important industry.”

APRA|AMCOS Head of Corporate Services, Dean Ormston agreed: “The values reflected in the research support our understanding of the importance of venue-based live music for APRA members. These venues have become the breeding ground for local talent, providing them with a public stage and the opportunity to perform live and fine-tune their skills as artists. While new technologies provide different ways for artists to reach audiences, live performance is critical for artists’ technical and creative development, income generation and networking with fans and industry. The statistical results and direct feedback from surveyed venues demonstrate the significant economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry.”

Evelyn Richardson, Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia, said: “These results complement earlier Ernst & Young research which found that the broader live entertainment industry generated gross revenues of $1.88 billion in 2008.”

Based on Live Performance Australia’s 2008 valuation of the broader entertainment industry and the figures from the new Ernst & Young study the whole live entertainment sector is valued at more than $3 billion in Australia.

About the Research
Commissioned by APRA|AMCOS in conjunction with the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Arts NSW and Live Performance Australia; industry stakeholders, including music industry and hospitality sector associations, have recognised the need to understand the national economic value of the venue-based live music industry in order to ensure future policy decisions consider the true value and potential of the industry.

The research was based on surveying live music venues including hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs.

Key Findings:

  • The live music industry generated gross revenues of $1.21 billion during the 2009/10 financial year. This was driven by patron spend at live music performances which included ticket sales to live performances and food and drink.
  • These revenues were generated from an estimated 41.97 million patrons attending approximately 328,000 venue-based live music performances at 3,904 live music venues across Australia.
  • $652 million total profits and wages, or value add, were generated by the industry.
  • The venue-based live music industry supports employment of over 14,800 full time equivalent positions.
  • Based on a high level allocation of the national figures, a state by state view shows New South Wales (32% of industry output) as the largest contributor to the venue-based live music industry, followed by Queensland (24%) and Victoria (22%).

(The percentages from this analysis are consistent with the state by state distribution of performer payment data collected by APRA.)

Summary: The economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia

The economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia